As He Battles Lawsuit, Grandfather Of Turkish Environmental Movement Receives Right Livelihood Award

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Hayrettin Karaca, 90, faces up to six years in prison for championing the environmental causes to which he has devoted his life. Turkey is not a country where environmental awareness is terribly high. But one man has done more to solve this problem, as well as the forces that threaten Turkey’s natural habitats, than almost […]

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INTERVIEW: The “Man On The River” Finishes 5,200-Kilometer Journey In Istanbul

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Giacomo de Stefano raises his hat as he rows into Istanbul’s Golden Horn, the final stretch of a trans-Europe experiment in sustainable travel. It shouldn’t be any surprise that a man who adopted Venice as his hometown loves to be near water. But the way 44-year-old de Stefano decided to raise awareness about this precious […]

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Turkey Ripe For Renewable Energy Boom – So Why The Delay?

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Despite its vast solar and wind energy potential, Turkey’s renewable resources have only been developed in small pockets of the country, such as the windy Aegean island of Bozcaada (pictured above). With European countries having already tapped most of their low-hanging renewable energy development opportunities, Turkey is perfectly poised to become the new renewable energy […]

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UN Launches Climate Change Resilience Project In Western Balkans, Turkey

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The incidence and intensity of natural disasters, such as the flash floods last month that killed 12 people in Samsun, Turkey, are expected to increase as climate change intensifies. A two-year project to improve the disaster response capacities of Turkey and the Western Balkans has just been launched, reports the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk […]

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Turkey’s Economic Growth Hampered By Oil Addiction, Analysts Say

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Rising international petroleum prices are bad news for Turkey, which imports 90 percent of the oil it consumes. Turkey’s dependence on imported oil has already been key in creating its $86.6 billion current account deficit, and will continue to hold the country back from reaching its full growth potential, according to analysts from three major […]

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Turkish Cabinet Invokes Wartime Law To Seize Property For Hydro Projects

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The more than 20 hydroelectric projects that Turkey has built on the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers have been sharply criticized for displacing populations and harming the local environment. Now it’s even easier for hydro companies to build destructive dams in Turkey. Real estate for 13 different hydroelectric projects in 12 provinces can now be seized […]

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Plans For Turkey’s First Nuclear Power Plant Revealed

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Located in the southern province of Mersin, on the Mediterranean Sea, the Akkuyu nuclear plant has been controversial since it was first proposed in the 1970s. The meltdown at the Japanese Fukushima nuclear plant last year didn’t stall Turkey’s plans to build its own nuclear reactors. Like many Middle Eastern countries, as Green Prophet reported, […]

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Istanbul’s Top 10 Secondhand Clothing Shops

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Istanbul’s top ten secondhand clothing shops are easily accessible from the city’s main pedestrian drag, Istiklal Avenue, highlighted in blue on the map. Until recently, Istanbul’s secondhand clothing culture had been minimal, confined to costume shops, small racks in antique stores, and “eskicis” — old men wheeling carts of used items around the streets of […]

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Istanbul Court Annuls Almost-Finished Roma Project

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The district of Sulukule has been home to Istanbul’s Roma community since Byzantine times, but many of its residents were displaced to make way for a development project that started three years ago. Sulukule was declared a target area for “urban transformation” by the Turkish cabinet in 2006. Six years, four lawsuits, and many evictions […]

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Turkey’s Early Hydroelectric Dams Featured in Exhibit

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The first hydroelectric dam built in Ankara, Turkey’s capital city, the Çubuk Dam was promoted as “Ankara’s Bosphorus”. A new exhibit at Istanbul’s avant-garde SALT Galata gallery, Graft, throws open the archive of material about Turkey’s first major hydroelectric projects in the 1930s. The display critically analyzes the motives behind these early endeavors — and the […]

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4.1 Million Acres Of Land Previously Classified As Forest Goes On Sale In Turkey Today

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Turkey’s government argues that much of the land has already been illegally developed and sold, especially in the outskirts of major cities like Istanbul (pictured above). Two weeks ago, Turkish President Abdullah Gül approved a law that opened a parcel of land in Turkey formerly classified as forests — known as “2B” land — to […]

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Turkey Begins Controversial Drilling In Cyprus

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Turkey has started exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the town of Iskele in northern Cyprus (red arrow), angering the government of the Greek-controlled southern region. The Turkish Petroleum Corporation began onshore drilling operations on April 26 at a 3,000-meter-deep well, named “Türkyurdu-1” (“Turkish Homeland”), which Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız called a “force for […]

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Biodiesel Money Machine Collects Old Cooking Oil In Turkey

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“Bring waste oil, take away money” reads this advertisement for BAYTOM, a machine that incentivizes Turks to recycle cooking oil into biodiesel. In Turkish cities with BAYTOMs (Waste Vegetable Oil Collection Machines), residents can bring their used cooking oil outside and pour it into a machine that will measure its fat content and dispense a […]

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Historical Greek Orphanage Will Become Environmental Foundation

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Patriarch Bartholomew I, of the Istanbul-based Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate, stands outside the rundown former orphanage. Atop the highest hill on Büyükada (“Big Island” in Turkish), the largest of the picturesque “Princes Islands” in the Marmara Sea off the coast of Istanbul, stands a sprawling, abandoned structure rumored to be the largest  wooden building in […]

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Beware: Peppers, Pears and Grapes From Turkey Are Most Toxic Produce In Europe, Study Finds

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Fresh produce stands like this one are popular all over Turkey. But these colorful displays contain a toxic blend of pesticides, according to a new Greenpeace report (in German). Of 76 different fruits and vegetables recently evaluated, Turkish peppers contained the most excessive and dangerous amounts of pesticide chemicals, according to Food Without Pesticides, a new 26-page guide […]

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