ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
The Ortaköy Mosque was one of the landmarks of Istanbul that joined the Earth Hour 2015. AA photo
Istanbul’s symbolic landmarks were darkened for an hour on March 28 during the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) annual “Earth Hour” event to raise awareness of environmental issues.
The city’s many symbolic sights, including the Bosphorus Bridge and Dolmabahçe Palace, went dark from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. local time. Museums and historic mosques such as Beylerbeyi Palace, the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Topkapı Museum, Beylerbeyi Mosque and Büyük Mecidiye Mosque also turned their lights off for an hour to support the event.
Along with the historic symbols of the city, many other institutions such as banks, hotels and educational institutions also supported the campaign tag-lined as “60+,” meaning just 60 minutes are not enough.
The campaign in Istanbul started in the Ortaköy neighborhood of the Beşiktaş
district with the participation of WWF Turkey members.
WWF Turkey General Director Tolga Baştak said 1632 institutions across Turkey supported the event this year.
“[…] More than 30 cities in Turkey took part in the event this year. From the Keşan district of Edirne to the Çatak district of Van, a number of municipalities, governorates and institutions dimmed their lights. In addition to this, monumental buildings supported the event. A total of 1632 institutions dimmed their lights as well as the monumental buildings around the world,” said Baştak.
WWF’s Earth Hour is a worldwide event held annually on the last Saturday of March. More than 7,000 cities around the world turn off their lights for an hour from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. local time to encourage citizens, communities, businesses and organizations to protect the planet.
The event first started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 to raise awareness of climate change and environmental issues.