VIDEO: Controversial Istanbul creek begins to flow black again

VIDEO: Controversial Istanbul creek begins to flow black again

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
VIDEO: Controversial Istanbul creek begins to flow black again

DHA Photo

The water of a controversial creek on Istanbul’s Asian side, which had seen an improvement in quality following a recent cleaning project spurred by a local protest, has quickly returned to its original polluted state. 

Kurbağalıdere Creek in Istanbul’s central Kadıköy district has once again started to emit a foul odor and turned black after heavy rainfalls increased its flow rate. 

In late September, the creek’s water had started to clear and schools of fish were seen in a shallow section of the creek, which had long been a point of consternation over excessive pollution, after a cleaning project was conducted over the previous two months. 

Excessive pollution in the creek in the Fenerbahçe neighborhood of Kadıköy had alarmed local residents, environmental rights groups and advocates and activists in late July, as the creek emitted a foul odor and was seen with black-colored bubbles covering its surface, causing some to compare it to an “open sewage pit.” 

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality had conducted a cleaning project after the protest in July, which resulted in shallow parts of the creek being partially cleaned in late September and schools of fish, including mullet and bluefish, were seen in its waters. 

But with the recent increase in rainfall in the city, the flow rate of the creek also increased, causing the sewage in the upper part of the creek to be carried down to the Marmara Sea. 

Within the scope of the cleaning project, tons of mud which had piled up at the mouth of the stream was removed with cranes to allow clean water to flow freely. Fresh sea water was also pumped inside the creek with pipes that were installed. This, on the other hand, caused reaction from environmentalists who said polluted water was being allowed to flow into the Marmara Sea. 

Cleaning works are continuing at the tail end of the creek, which is mainly concentrated in Kadıköy’s Salıpazarı neighborhood. Dirt is being scooped out of this part of the creek, while the surrounding area resembles a large construction site. 

A group of residents and environmentalists, including Republican People’s Party (CHP) Secretary-General Gürsel Tekin and deputies Mahmut Tanal and Barış Yarkadaş, had held a demonstration at Kadıköy’s Yoğurtçu Park next to the creek on July 30, waving placards reading “Let life flow in the creek, not poison.”

The protest was called by Kadıköy City Solidarity, an environmental rights group, and conducted amid claims that the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s efforts to clean the creek were proceeding too slowly.

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