Climate change threatens Turkey’s cultural, historical sites
Climate change is posing risks not only to the environment but also to cultural, ancient and historical sites in Turkey, experts have warned.
“For instance, the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia is also under threat as climate change will quicken their erosion,” said İsmail Dabanlı from Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) who was one of the scholars attending the hearings at the Parliamentary Global Climate Change Commission.
Located in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir and inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, Cappadocia is one of the main tourist destinations in Turkey.
Dabanlı noted that the historical sites and artifacts along the Istanbul and Aegean coasts were also under threat due to the rising sea level.
“Temperature difference in those areas will rise as sea levels increase, which will inflict damages on historical artifacts there,” he said.
Dabanlı also warned that endangered Caretta Caretta sea turtles were looking for new nesting areas in the northern part of the country.
“They normally come to the İztuzu beach [in the western province of Muğla on the Aegean coast] to lay their eggs. But now, they are migrating further north to around İzmir as sea temperature is rising,” he said.
Turkey is one of the most important nesting areas for this endangered species.
As temperature rises in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, more invasive species, such as Toadfish, will be seen along Turkey’s coasts, Dabanlı added.
He also said that spring and autumn were slowly disappearing in the country due to climate change.
“We are heading toward a two-season period. Winter is extending to cover April and May while summer is stretching toward autumn,” Dabanlı said.