Authorities take measures to prevent illegal cutting down of pines
Authorities in Istanbul have taken measures to prevent the illegal cutting down of pine trees ahead of New Year’s Eve, with officials carrying out extensive controls in forested areas to protect the trees.
“They usually try to steal trees with a height of one or one-and-a-half meters. For this purpose, our organization has increased its patrols and duties in the forests on a 24/7 basis,” said Erdal Şahan, an official from Istanbul Forestry Regional Directorate.
“According to the law, it is forbidden to cut down seedlings and trees grown with labor. The punishment for this crime is three months to five years in prison,” Şahan added.
Noting that the trees cut from the forests only for the night of Dec. 31 are to be short-lived and will die by drying, Şahan urged citizens to plant saplings instead of cutting trees, adding that saplings are set to be distributed free of charge to the public in certain locations.
Most Turks do not celebrate Christmas but decorate their houses with lights, ornaments and Christmas trees when celebrating the New Year. Around December every year, cafes and streets get decorated with lights and trees.