Hundreds protest foul smell from over-polluted Istanbul creek
ISTANBUL – Cihan News Agency
DHA photoResidents of Kadıköy along with members of several rights groups and environmental organizations have protested the foul odor coming from a central creek that has been severely polluted by sewage water and environmental waste in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul’s Asian side.
The group, including Republican People’s Party (CHP) Secretary-General Gürsel Tekin and deputies Mahmut Tanal and Barış Yarkadaş, held a demonstration at Kadıköy’s Yoğurtçu Park next to the Kurbağalıdere Creek late July 30, waving placards reading “Let life flow in the creek, not poison.”
The protest was called by Kadıköy City Solidarity, an environmental rights group, and conducted amid claims that the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s (İBB) efforts to clean the creek were proceeding too slowly.
“We are inhaling poisonous gas because of an inconvenient cleaning work. All parts of Kadıköy and even the Marmara Sea are at risk. The creek, which has become an open sewage pit, is a major threat to human health. The cleaning work is moving so slowly that only one-third of the project has been completed in years,” the group of protesters said in a press briefing.
The pollution in the Kurbağalıdere Creek has reached an alarming level as the brook was recently seen covered with black-colored bubbles and emitting an unbearable smell.
The creek, which is located at the heart of Kadıköy, has reached a dangerous level of contamination due to a high amount of sewage and waste which has been thrown into the creek, causing great apprehension from those living in the neighborhoods bordering the creek, local journal Kadıköy Life’s website reported.
Authorities recently announced that further reclamation efforts would begin in early 2016.
Tests conducted in June by Kadıköy Municipality determined that four out of seven samples collected from different spots of the Marmara Sea within the boundaries of Kadıköy contained high levels of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, an extreme threat to humans.
A total of 200 units of E. coli is considered safe, but the amount of E.coli was 390 units off Fenerbahçe, 410 at the Moda Sea Club, 6,500 at Kalamış and 6,900 in the sea at Yoğurtçu Park.
Kadıköy Mayor Aykurt Nuhoğlu cautioned people about the perils of swimming in the sea and further showed his distress by stating “the public is under threat.”
“Therefore, no one has the right to threaten the health of the people,” Nuhoğlu said in June.