Environmental chamber warns of rising air pollution levels across Turkey
Istanbul, Ankara, the southern provinces of Adana, Hatay, Mersin and Kahramanmaraş, the Black Sea provinces of Amasya and Samsun, the Central Anatolian provinces of Niğde and Sivas, and the western provinces of Manisa, Bursa, Denizli, Kütahya, Tekirdağ, Yalova, Kırklareli and Sakarya were all indicated in the report as having the worst air quality.
The eastern Black Sea province of Artvin, the eastern province of Bitlis, the northwestern province of Eskişehir, and the Central Anatolian provinces of Yozgat, Kırşehir and Kırıkkale have the best measured air quality, according to the report.
“Locals should not go out in morning and evening hours when air pollution tends to be worse. Local governor’s offices and municipalities should inform citizens about when the air pollution is at its worst ... Natural gas, instead of poor quality coal, should be provided as support to the poor locals,” said Baran Bozoğlu, the head of the Chamber of Environmental Engineers, a member chamber of the Ankara-based Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB).
Bozoğlu also called for the improvement of “public transportation and rail systems in cities” and said “urban transformation should be strictly regulated by the state” in order to combat air pollution.
Bozoğlu said the district of Ankara with the most polluted air was Sıhhiye, as a number of hospitals are concentrated in this area. He added that the main cause of air pollution in the Turkish capital is the use of low-quality coal for transportation and heating.
For Istanbul, he cited “uncontrolled urban transformation” as the main cause of air pollution.
“The worst air quality in Istanbul is in the densely populated district of Esenyurt, while the district with the best air quality is the more sparsely populated Şile,” Bozoğlu said.