Chemical waste dumped in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece Lake

Chemical waste dumped in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece Lake

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Chemical waste dumped in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece Lake

Chemical waste was dumped into a lake basin in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece district by an unidentified truck early on April 22.

The incident was discovered after locals notified authorities of the situation. The Büyükçekmece municipality employees and a group of experts from the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) were dispatched to the Büyükçekmece Lakin Basin area on the Eskice Village road where they took samples of the solid waste and launched an analysis.

In their initial findings, the experts determined the dumped waste was “iron sulfate heptahydrate,” used in numerous chemical and industrial applications.

Büyükçekmece Mayor Dr. Hasan Akgün also visited the area and received information about the incident from experts. He indicated that the Büyükçekmece Lakin Basin was under threat because of illegally dumped chemicals.

“This area [where the waste was dumped] is only 300 meters next to the lake. We are rebelling against this, but our voices are suppressed because 17 million people are drinking this water,” said Akgün.

The mayor brought attention to the fact that the district had been in the news only a month ago due to another chemical waste dump, which had killed 10 sheep and numerous chickens. He said the Büyükçekmece Lake had to be “protected” with “high-technological cameras,” as well as “teams operating 24/7.”

The security cameras installed in nearby houses to the Büyükçekmece Lake Basin have already videotaped the truck that dumped waste early on April 22, said Akgün, but added the police had to yet determine whether the truck’s license plate was “covered” or not.

The Istanbul Arbitration Centre (İSTAÇ), which is the premier waste management company in Turkey, was scheduled to remove the waste from where it was dumped in the afternoon on April 22. The police have launched an investigation into the incident.