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From the Bosphorus: Straight - Pollution at Saros bay

HDN | 10/13/2009 12:00:00 AM |

A story published in the Daily News on Tuesday raised our eyebrows and made us very upset. It was about growing pollution in Saros Bay, a gulf in the northern Aegean that is a popular diving and fishing spot.

A story published in the Daily News on Tuesday raised our eyebrows and made us very upset. It was about growing pollution in Saros Bay, a gulf in the northern Aegean that is a popular diving and fishing spot.

Saros Bay faces the risk of pollution as a result of the excessive use of chemical fertilizers in the Thrace region, the story suggested.

“More fertilizers, water and pesticides are being used to increase agricultural production yields more than ever before, while the residue is being carried to the Gulf of Saros, by the Ergene and Meriç [Evros] rivers. Thrace Natural Resources and Energy Association Chairman Hüseyin Erkin told the Anatolia news agency that authorities should act immediately to save the bay,” it read.

Many developed countries control the use of even natural fertilizers in order not to allow the technological agricultural implemented to increase the productivity harming the environment. But we learn from the Daily News’ story that the amount of fertilizers used per hectare in Thrace is twice the normal amount. In addition, factories near the Ergene River also cause pollution.

The story makes clear that there is a need for immediate action by officials, environmental activists, local people, local press and all citizens.

Here is a sincere statement by a Daily News’ reader who commented on the story, which was also posted on the newspaper’s Web site.

“I have been diving as a spear fisher with spear gun around Gulf of Saros for many years. There is huge water pollution and increasing year by year,” Tigin Danyal wrote. “I used to hunt various types of fishes but nowadays I often come back home from the heaven of fish of the past empty handed. Another factor is fishermen who hunt fish illegally and also do not obey rules and regulations. I am afraid that my children will never see these beauties.”

Like every citizen with conscience, we should listen to Mr. Tigin Danyal. We should protect the environment of this beautiful country for our children the way our ancestors did for us. Saros was home to many civilizations like the Venetians, Byzantines and Ottomans throughout history. Its history dates back to 12th century B.C., indicating that as the current residents of this awesome geography our responsibility is not only for the future but also for the past.

We at the Daily News believe that it is high time to draw attention to environmental issues as the government and the European Union discuss opening the environment chapter of the negotiations process. We believe that the negotiations between Ankara and Brussels should also bring the growing concerns about pollution to the attention of all related authorities.

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