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Turkey besieged by spreading pollution

An overwhelming majority of Turkey's 81 provinces are plagued by pressing environmental problems and pollution has become the most urgent issue, Environment Ministry data has revealed.

The data, compiled from inventory work on provincial environmental problems and priorities conducted by ministry experts, shows that some 73 provinces out of 81 are faced with serious environmental problems. Accordingly, air pollution stands out as the most pressing problem in some 27 provinces and water is the most pressing problem for another 25. Some 21 provinces are plagued by pollution stemming from hazardous waste.
Central Anatolian provinces are affected the most by air pollution while the Marmara region in the northwest and the Black Sea region in the north are heavily affected by water pollution and pollution caused by hazardous waste respectively.
Pollution has, until recent years, only been a problem for Turkey's bigger cities where growing populations and burgeoning industry polluted air and water sources. But the work of the Environment Ministry reveals that environmental problems have spread across Anatolia.
According to the Environment Ministry, air pollution is a problem in almost all provinces. The Ministry work says natural and man-made factors are both responsible for air pollution. Natural factors stem from meteorology and topographic elements. Haphazard urbanization, the use of low-quality fuels, traffic and environment-unfriendly industry are pointed out as the main man-made factors contributing to air pollution. Efforts to tackle air pollution are thwarted by lack of proper regulations, lack of personnel, financial shortages and lack of high-quality, environmental-friendly fuels.
Ministry experts proposed the use of environmental-friendly fuels as an effective remedy and said this could significantly help alleviate air pollution in some 79 provinces. Other proposed measures are the provision of higher quality heating insulation, better training for those in charge of maintaining heating systems, measures to ensure industrial facilities are taken out of city centers and better supervision of industrial facilities.

As for water pollution, the Ministry’s study shows that it’s the number one problem for 25 provinces, the second-biggest problem for 34 provinces and the third-biggest problem for some 16 provinces. Inadequate sewage systems, poor regulation in use of chemicals in agriculture and lack of efficient wastewater treatment in big industries are set out as the main factors behind the growing problem of water pollution.
As for hazardous waste, the study shows that it is the biggest problem for some 21 provinces, second biggest problem for 19 provinces and the third biggest problem for 27 provinces.
Top environmental problems besetting provinces

Provinces where air pollution is the most pressing problem: Afyonkarahisar, Ağrı, Ankara, Batman, Bilecik, Burdur, Çorum, Denizli, Düzce, Elazığ, Erzurum, Isparta, K. Maraş, Karabük, Kars, Kayseri, Kırıkkale, Kırşehir, Kütahya, Malatya, Mardin, Muğla, Niğde, Osmaniye, Sivas, Yozgat, Zonguldak.
Provinces where water pollution is the most pressing problem: Aksaray, Amasya, Aydın, Balıkesir, Bartın, Bolu, Bursa, Çankırı, Edirne, Erzincan, Eskişehir, Gümüşhane, Hakkari, İstanbul, Kastamonu, Kırklareli, Konya, Mersin, Muş, Sakarya, Şanlıurfa, Tekirdağ, Tunceli, Uşak, Yalova.
Problems where hazardous waste materials pose the most pressing problem: Adana, Adıyaman, Antalya, Ardahan, Bayburt, Bingöl, Bitlis, Çanakkale, Giresun, Iğdır, İzmir, Kilis, Nevşehir, Ordu, Rize, Samsun, Siirt, Şırnak, Tokat, Trabzon.
Provinces where haphazard urbanization is the most pressing problem: Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kocaeli, Manisa, Van.

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