Ankara water contaminated, ministry report shows

Ankara water contaminated, ministry report shows

Ankara water contaminated, ministry report shows

Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek is seen in a press conference about the tap water hygene in the city. AA photo

Both worries and a row over tap water in Ankara is growing, with a Health Ministry body submitting a report to the governor’s office showing that the water had been contaminated by various poisons, including arsenic.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aylin Nazlıaka, who became publicly embroiled in a war of words with Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, brought the official dispatch dated Sept. 22 to the agenda, saying, “Gökçek was caught red-handed.”

The Public Health Institution said in the letter to the governor that it would take legal action in the event that it did not fulfill its responsibilities regarding clean water.

However, Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu said in a statement Sept. 30 that similar letters were also sent to 50 provinces, arguing that highlighting Ankara was politically motivated or was a reflection of a “culture of dispute.”

The minister said the same warning was sent to Eskişehir and Tekirdağ municipalities, implying that they were run by the CHP, not the ruling Justice and Development Party like Ankara.

The findings in Ankara included nitrate, aluminum, arsenic, clostridium perfringens, enterococcus, escherichia coli and coliform bacteria in excess of health limits.

The report said the municipality was warned several times on measures but no steps were taken.
The Public Health Institution said it would sue those who are responsible in the event that there is no improvement in the water before announcing the issue to the public.

Nazlıaka said at a press meeting yesterday that Gökçek was misleading the public. “Gökçek accuses me of acting in an ideological manner. Is the Health Ministry also ideological?” she asked.