Online retailer Amazon grabbed headlines with their plan to build a biosphere inside transparent glass orbs which will house its Seattle – based workforce and a forest of plants. Interiors will feature “botanical zones” modeled on earth’s mountain ecologies.
Turkey’s Taksim square protest flared up last week when police took drastic measures to clear activists from Gezi Park- slated for destruction to make way for yet another shopping center. But that’s not the only unsustainable project the government is pursuing in the name of economic growth. We list 5 of the major ones.
Motivation behind Turkish demonstrations is more complicated than protection of public green space. Spotty media coverage blurs underlying causes; a real-life case of not seeing the forest for the trees.
Every summer the surge of jellyfish seems to be getting worse and worse in the Mediterranean Sea. A new UN report says that may start seeing a future where jellyfish overtake fish in our great big seas. Ready for a jellyfish stirfry?
The safety of the balloon industry is again questioned in the wake of a hot air balloon crash near Cappadocia, Turkey today that killed two, officials announced. Some 23 other tourists from Brazil, Spain and Argentina have been injured as the hot air balloon hit another’s basket mid-air while drifting over volcanic rock formations.
How can change occur if we’re not free to write about sensitive issues like human rights and the environment? According to the 2012 census by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), there are 232 journalists in prisons worldwide, over half being held in the Middle East, the most of them surprisingly in Turkey. The online […]
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.
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 […]
Improvement of Turkish and Israeli ties could make Istanbul a hub for Israeli natural gas deliveries to Europe The discovery and development of large natural gas deposits by Israel in the eastern Mediterranean by local and foreign energy companies such as Delek Energy and Noble Energy has become a game changer for Israel. Up to now, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
R2D2 – Tunisia’s landscape and subterranean dwellings have made it ideal for filming our Star Wars movies! When the Star Wars films began they chose Turkey and its fairy chimneys for the futuristic backdrop of the science fiction films. Later films were shot in Tunisia and some fans have even gone so far as to […]
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 […]
The year in retrospect has been a positive one. Despite civil unrest, dangerous regimes, and appalling environmental crimes and neglect, there are good green things afoot for the Middle East. Today we recap some of our green leaders of 2012, the people of the Middle East and for the Middle East who have made 2012, […]
One man’s efforts to prevent ecological disaster and to save Turkey’s birds is permanent ink tats on his arms. It was the close of the day for us birdwatchers at the Hula Valley Bird Festival in Israel. Our guides dropped us off where we were to dine, and while we waited, we talked to the “birders” – passionate […]
With the world’s fourth largest number of planned coal-fired power plants, Turkey is flouting international concern about climate change. As the United Nation’s climate change talks in Doha enter their second day, Turkey has been called out on its irresponsible climate policies with the “Fossil of the Day” award. Although Turkey has kept a low […]
In the Middle East, recipes for stuffed vegetables and leaves evolved from a simple, thrifty way with meat to a culinary passion. Careful housewives have long known that a little ground meat goes a long way when artfully seasoned and combined with rice. But it took imagination and care to develop the recipes of stuffed […]
The Aras River basin is home to more than half of Turkey’s bird species, but a planned hydroelectric dam would alter the river’s marshy ecosystem, driving away the birds. That’s the fear of Çağan Şekercioğlu, president and founder of Turkey’s KuzeyDoğa wildlife preservation NGO. Green Prophet has written about Şekercioğlu’s groundbreaking research, teaching, and conservation work before. Now, […]
Despite all the criticism the plan received from urban planners, lawyers, activists, academics, and concerned citizens, Istanbul has begun remodeling its central square, a focal point for transportation and protests.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says that the Mediterranean’s biggest eco-debtor is Italy, meaning that nation uses more resources than it generates. Does that mean Middle Eastern nations bordering the sea are environmentally savvy consumers? Mama Mia, no! The medium is the message, said Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan. And the message is skewed by the words. […]
Movie stars shone on Abu Dhabi red carpets, where the curtain rose on a pair of green films connected to the Middle East. This year’s Abu Dhabi film festival featured two green-themed films aimed at raising awareness of a decidedly un-Hollywood subject: global waste management. Both movies, Trashed and Polluting Paradise, were sponsored by sustainable […]
Israel’s Negev Desert, Jordan’s Mount Nebo, Medaba and Wadi Rum are a few dark sky destinations for stargazing. Paris is known as the city of lights. So is Medina Saudi Arabia, Be’er Sheva Israel and Las Vegas, Nevada. We shouldn’t overlook Baltimore Maryland, Varanasi India, Quanzhou China and Milford Pennsylvania. Each of these cities is also […]