The online ‘zine Foreign Policy posted its “worst countries for journalism” with the Middle East grabbing three of the Top Ten slots. As we scour the media, we already see how this fares for environmental reporting which is practically non-existent in the Middle East.
Turkey’s largest wind power plant has broken ground and is expected to generate enough clean energy to electrify up to 170,000 homes.
Whether or not a 100,000 square meter office complex could possibly come with even a net environmental benefit is debatable, but the fact that a design wrapped in green won an international competition for such a complex signals a potential shift in Turkey’s urban planning.
Health experts have long advocated drinking tea instead of coffee, and the Middle East is awash in both, but modern food technology is heating up health concerns over this ancient brew.
Over the millennia, the Mediterranean Sea has become much more than a transport hub for empires that control the region: It links nations, feeds countries, and its shores hold some of the world’s most expensive real estate and natural beauty.
You might not be able to strut around in a thong or sun tan topless in the Middle East, but there are many beautiful beaches in the region that just don’t get enough fanfare. That’s why we have rounded up ten of the most sublime sandy destinations.
While the United States is completely in bed with companies that manufacture genetically modified organisms (GMOs), countries in other parts of the world are resisting their relentless push to populate the planet with their patented seeds. Turkey is the latest country to ban 26 GMOs following an incident involving the unauthorized entry of genetically modified [...]
A Few Brave People by Turkish director Rüya Arzu Köksal won the Golden Deer Award for Best Feature Film at the inaugural Abu Dhabi International Environmental Film Festival (ADIEFF) last Thursday night. Recognized alongside five other nature-themed films at the closing green carpet ceremony, the documentary highlights the challenges faced by people living in Çağlayan, İkizdere and Senoz in the Black [...]
Like many countries in the Middle East/North Africa region, Turkey is undergoing rapid expansion and that’s not necessarily a good thing, especially since so many developers are perpetuating an archaic building model that involves a lot of concrete and glass and often completely disregards the need to preserve existing vegetation or plan for climatic concerns. [...]
Turkey’s booming aviation industry is planning new development that will wipe out over half a million old-growth trees. Istanbul aims to build its third airport on nearly a square kilometer of previously pristine forest in the northern, European part of the city, on Lake Terkos near the Black Sea. With six runways and an annual [...]
The barbershop tradition in Turkey is far more vibrant than the Hair Cutteries of America. In Turkey, men gather for their weekly shave and catch up on the politics du jour while drinking strong muddy coffee often laced with cardamom. The barber is naturally a key figure in this street culture, so when he takes [...]
Much ado has been made of the great solarization of Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, but Turkey has made some sun-powered progress too. And the most recent development in the south is also the country’s largest. Solimpeks is in the process of installing a 500kWp photovoltaic plant on Mercan Mermer’s roof. A [...]
I recently spent a weekend in Istanbul, one of my most beloved cities. My hotel was based in Fatih, the run down section of the old town, and it overlooked the Little Aya Sofya mosque – also spelled Sophia, or Sofia. The morning before I flew, I thought it would be the perfect moment to [...]
Upstream hydroelectric dams have already inhibited the recovery of Iraq’s legendary Mesopotamian Marshes. A massive dam currently under construction in Turkey may wipe them out completely. For the next two months, I’ll be taking a break from my usual Green Prophet posts to report on a transnational environmental issue: the Ilısu Dam currently under construction [...]
Want to go from one high fashion look to a completely different one without getting undressed? Hussein Chalayan is a high-end transformer clothing designer. Turkish Cypriot Hussein Chalayan’s double-duty dresses are sensual and slightly sustainable: two-in-one haute couture arrives in a single shipment. London-based designer Chalayan unveiled a line of tranformative clothing in the runways of [...]
The Birdmen of Istanbul, a film by Ali Naki Tez, follows the reclusive, fascinating old men who have devoted their lives to tending Istanbul’s songbirds. The documentary opens on two old men discussing a mysterious ailment. It alienates you from your family, your work, your regular social circle, they say, before revealing the culprit: bird disease. [...]
Yalın Mimarlık won first place in an international design competition for an archaeological museum on the site of ancient Troy. Renowned for the famous Trojan horse story in Homer’s Iliad, this historic site in the northwestern corner of Turkey reveals a lot about the country’s artistic and cultural development leading up to World War I; the [...]
All over the Middle East and North Africa, governments are feeling the energy pinch, and each has a different solution. Morocco and Algeria are turning to solar energy, so are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while Jordan seems more intent on exploiting its oil shale reserves to bridge the soaring gap between supply and [...]
March 23 at 8:30 PM marks Earth Hour. Will you switch off? Writing for Slate magazine, Bjorn Lomborg argues against what he believes to be the futility of Earth Hour. But Mr. Lomborg’s inability to see the value in such collective environmental efforts makes a compelling case for why we need them. As I pointed out [...]
Two thousand years ago, Lake Bafa was a bay in the Aegean Sea, known as the Gulf of Latmus. The remains of ancient Byzantine monasteries can still be found on its islets and nearby mountains. Today, the lake in Turkey’s Muğla Province is home to remarkable biodiversity: 261 bird species, 25 plant species, 22 reptile [...]
There are currently 1.6 million automobiles on Istanbul’s roads, according to Embarq Türkiye — and each day, 640 more are registered. Following British and German models, the Turkish Finance Ministry has begun designing a new scheme for taxes on motor vehicles and their purchase, reports Turkish paper Hürriyet Daily News. Under the plan, the taxes will [...]
Istanbul residents have been dreading this moment: construction has broken ground on an enormous International Financial Center designed to position the Turkish economy among the world’s top ten. Despite some green concessions, including green roofs, on-site renewable energy generation, and plenty of urban green space, locals who must contend with greater traffic congestion and other [...]
Mediterranean sharks risk extinction while “serious implications” feared for marine ecosystems and beyond. Accidental catches and sharks for fin soup are to blame Shark populations in the Mediterranean and Black Sea have dropped dramatically over the last two centuries and now risk extinction, with serious implications for the region’s entire marine ecosystem and food chains, [...]
Two years after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan, the Turkish government is moving ahead with nuclear power despite public opposition. Hundreds of Turkish activists formed a human chain across a bridge over Istanbul’s Golden Horn on March 10, the day before the second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the world’s second [...]
Pomelo fruit and the Middle East arak are making one of the year’s hottest and refreshing new cocktails. Here’s the recipe. Baffled Once: Purchased as wacky Christmas gifts, the four bottles of arak inside our New York-bound suitcases were packed more carefully than human transplant organs are, but their bottle caps were as leaky as [...]
“Polluting nature is your problem, your law is a lie” and “Withdraw the Nature Law” read signs from protests last weekend in Ankara. On Sunday, Turkey’s Green and Future Left parties organized small but loud protests in six cities around Turkey to oppose the country’s new Protection of Nature and Biological Diversity Law. The draft [...]
New underwater photos from five different locations around the Gulf of Izmir confirm that life is returning to the once-blighted water. The gulf was used as an open sewer system from the 1960s until 2000, when the city of Izmir initiated the Big Gulf Project to clean it up. Those efforts are paying off, according [...]
The Sea of Marmara is swamped with plastic pollution and other byproducts of our rampant consumerism, but according to ONZ Architects, the issue is “swept under the carpet” and most residents of Istanbul faced with continued development look the other way. The designers’ strategy to encourage a new awareness involves sweeping that carpet right back out [...]
A surge of round-the-world cyclists have emerged in the last few years as touring gear has improved and borders have become more fluid (for certain passport holders.) Two South African men cycled to Mecca, and a pair of American women traveled the Silk Road to support trans-boundary conservation efforts. But these adventures are not without [...]
Until a recent urban renewal project that forced most residents out, the neighborhood of Tarlabaşı was home to a diverse array of Istanbul’s minority populations. In the early 20th century, Tarlabaşı’s winding streets and colorful buildings were home to many of the city’s Greek residents. After violence against the Greek population their mass emigration from [...]
A new research paper traces the roots of the wild olive to one location. Olives, staple of Mediterranean cuisine, have dubious origins. Called the “tree of life” for the sustenance it provides and its myriad non-food uses (read our list of 10 weird and wonderful ways to use olive oil), the domesticated olive tree is central [...]
The Zorlu Group, one of Turkey’s biggest business conglomerates, has its eyes on another behemoth: Israel’s largest gas field, the Leviathan. Under a new plan proposed by Zorlu, an undersea pipeline would deliver 8-10 billion cubic meters of natural gas each year from the Leviathan, 130 kilometers west of Haifa, to Turkey’s southern coast, reports [...]
Sound the alarms? Where has Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq’s underground freshwater sea gone? NASA’s imaging technology recently brought some bad news about Mideast air pollution. Now NASA brings more bad news about the Mideast water supply. We already knew that the Dead Sea is shrinking. Some people are even trying to do something about [...]
Surrounded by mountains, Turkey’s fourth largest city, Bursa, is already one of the country’s most verdant metropolises — and it’s about to get a little bit greener. A mosque slated to be built in the western city of Bursa will produce 120 kilowatts of electricity from solar and wind energy, according to Turkish paper Hürriyet Daily [...]
A natural retreat from the traffic and crowds of Istanbul, the 296-hectare Atatürk Arboretum, above, receives few visitors. But it contains more than 2,000 foreign and native plant species, including some species that can’t be found anywhere else in Turkey. Situated within the city’s Belgrade Forest, the arboretum is a research site for Turkish and foreign scientists, [...]
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are expected to bring 3.5GW of solar capacity online by 2015: Saudi Arabia and Turkey lead the way. A new report published by Green Tech Media (GTM) Research pins the surge from today’s near-negligible production on rapidly rising energy demand spurred by MENA economic expansion, population growth, and [...]
“Empty your vacuum bag often” urges Mrs. Energy (“Energy Hanım”) in this advertisement. An energy conservation campaign recently launched by the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Family and Social Policies has already aroused ire among female commentators in the country. The plump poster-wife for the campaign always appears in domestic [...]
Are Jordan’s snow and Israel’s floods signs of climate change or are they simply flukes of weather? People might argue this for decades there is strong evidence that Mideastern climate has changed dramatically over thousands of years and there is evidence that humans can negatively impact their environment over a much shorter time period. The [...]
Turkey has been importing condensate from the Khor Mor gas field in Iraqi Kurdistan since October, with daily shipments now reaching 15,000 barrels. Until recently, bowing to the Iraqi central government’s claim that it controls all oil within the country, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) only exported oil through a pipeline controlled by Baghdad. But [...]
Can computer generated Bengal tigers help save the 1850 real ones which remain in the wild? The Life of Pi is a novel by Yann Martel, first published in 2001. It told the story of a boy whose family is shipwrecked while moving their private zoo’s animals from French India to Canada. It was thought [...]