Turkish EU Ministry pledges ‘cleaner air’ through reforms

Turkish EU Ministry pledges ‘cleaner air’ through reforms

Turkish EU Ministry pledges ‘cleaner air’ through reforms

Air pollution has become one of the most characteristic features of the Turkish capital Ankara.

Turkey’s EU Ministry has promoted yet another tool aimed at facilitating redoubled efforts to accede to the 28-nation union, undertaking what it says will provide "fresh air" for its citizens.

“The second phase of the National Action Plan, enacting 53 laws, 246 secondary pieces of legislation and 136 institutional structures, is being outlined,” EU Minister Volkan Bozkır said Dec. 1 at a press conference, in which he focused on details of the second phase of the National Action Plan for EU Accession.

With steps to be taken on air quality, citizens will be able to breathe cleaner air, Bozkır said.

“By issuing an Environmental Responsibilities Law, activities to prevent environmental damage [will be implemented] and there will be assurances that facilities that led to environmental damage will be financially responsible for restoring any damage. By this means, those who damage the environment will not be able to avoid paying the price,” he added.

The plan will be implemented in two periods, the first to last until 2015 and the second to cover the period 2015-2019.

Bozkır described the second phase as a "significant roadmap" displaying priorities aimed at preserving political reforms and the current socio-economic transformation.

“Our choice for full membership in the European Union is not conjunctural; it is a product of a permanent and strategic approach,” said the EU minister, also a former senior diplomat.