Climate change in Turkey

Flash floods are predicted to become more frequent as here in Sinop
but the Büyük Menderes River, full in November 2007, may halve its average flow by 2100.
The glacier on Mount Ararat will soon be gone
and anchovies may no longer swim to Turkish waters.
Zonguldak: Turkey's first coal mining region would need help to give up.
There is hope: trees in the northeast are being helped by Anatolian reforestation.

Turkey is one of the countries which is being most affected by global warming.[1][2] Annual temperatures are rising[3] as are maximum temperatures.[4] Greenhouse gas emissions by Turkey are 1% of the global total[5] and are forecast to rise substantially[6] because the energy policy of Turkey is to heavily subsidize coal in Turkey.[7]

Greenhouse gas emissions by TurkeyEdit

Turkey emits about 500 Mt CO2eq each year, about 6 tons per person.[8] Almost three quarters is from the energy sector,[8] the largest source being Turkey's coal-fired power stations.[9]


Turkey is forecast to be more severely effected than many other countries,[10][11] but effects will vary considerably across the regions of the country.[12]


The weather is becoming more extreme.[13] During the 21st century temperatures are forecast to rise by 2-3 °C on average and precipitation to significantly reduce.[14] However, as well as more droughts more floods are predicted, due to rain falling instead of snow.[15] The worst case is a 7 degree rise by 2100.[16]


Wildfires have increased[17] due to climate change.[18]


Urban heatwaves,[19] droughts,[20] storms,[21] and flooding,[22] may increase.[23] Sea level rise is forecast to affect city infrastructure, for example Istanbul Kadıkoy metro station is threatened with flooding.[15]Xeriscaping of green spaces has been suggested,[24] and Istanbul has a climate change action plan.[25] However, according to a 2018 study by Trakya University more local climate change action plans need to be prepared urgently.[26]


Glaciers in Turkey including the glaciers on Mount Ararat are retreating.[27] According to Professor Barış Karapınar, water is lost through evaporation due to old-fashioned irrigation techniques used by the Southeastern Anatolia Project, increasing the risk of severe water shortage.[28] Reduced hydroelectricity in Turkey is forecast.[29]


Unless global emissions are greatly reduced agriculture in Turkey, such as wheat,[30][31] is expected to be severely affected after the late 2030s especially in areas with rain fed agriculture.[32] Arid and semi-arid areas are at risk of desertification.[2] Irrigated agriculture will decline as water stress increases and increasing food imports will hit Turkey's trade balance.[32] Damage to agriculture [33] is predicted to greatly increase.[32] Pine nut production has been severely reduced.[34]


The warming of Lake Van is reducing oxygen for pearl mullet.[35]


Turkey, like neighbouring Iran, is one of the few countries that has signed but not ratified the Paris Agreement, in other words it is a signatory but not one of the parties to the agreement. The main opposition Republican People's Party has called for the agreement to be ratified.[36]

Similarly Turkey has signed but not ratified the Kigali Amendment. It has no carbon tax or emissions trading scheme, therefore carbon capture and storage is not used as it is not economically viable.[37] Also "given the fact that a new coal-fired power plant has a minimum of 40 years of economic life, Turkey's coal rush could create an inextricable carbon lock-in."[10]


In 2019 some Turkish schoolchildren joined the School strike for climate[38] and Turkey's branch of Extinction Rebellion demonstrated for Turkey to ratify the Paris Agreement.[39]


Loss in Gross Domestic Product per capita by 2100 is forecast to be less than 1% for slight global warming (RCP 2.6 Scenario) but almost 8% for severe global warming (RCP 8.5 Scenario).[40]


Muslim environmentalists and academics quote the Quran in support of their environmentalism,[41] and in Istanbul in 2015 Islamic leaders urged the world's 1.6 billion Muslims to help defeat climate change.[42][43]


The arts are raising awareness of climate change[44] and education is supported by the EU.[45]

Misunderstandings about climate changeEdit

Individual action on climate change is not properly understood (in a survey of primary school teachers many erroneously prioritised using less cosmetics) and neither are government choices on climate change mitigation (in the same survey only a minority correctly prioritised curbing fossil fuel use).[46] Future warming of seawater by Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is wrongly thought by some to be relevant to climate change,[12] and few know that geothermal power in Turkey might emit considerable CO
[47] (research on this due 2019 is being funded by the EBRD).


In 2019 the OECD recommended that adaptation efforts be increased,[48] an international conference on local actions was held,[49] and work on 12 regional adaptation plans continued.[50] Protection of water resources and soil quality have been considered,[51] however Turkey has yet to submit a National Adaptation Plan to the UNFCCC.[52]

Media coverageEdit

In the 1990s independent media outlet Açık Radyo (Open Radio) was one of the first to cover climate change, and its founder Ömer Madra(in Turkish) emphasises "The three Y’s in the fight on climate change: Yerel (local) Yatay (horizontal, not vertical) and Yavaş (slow, no resort to violence)."[53]

See alsoEdit


  • Aşıcı, Ahmet Atıl (May 2017). "Climate friendly Green Economy Policies" (PDF). Istanbul Policy Center.
  • Atilgan, Burcin; Azapagic, Adisa (2016). "An integrated life cycle sustainability assessment of electricity generation in Turkey". Energy Policy. 93: 168–186. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2016.02.055.
  • Jensen, Génon K. (May 2014). "THE UNPAID HEALTH BILL: HOW COAL POWER PLANTS IN TURKEY MAKE US SICK" (PDF). Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL).
  • ŞAHIN, Ümit (February 2018). "CARBON LOCK-IN IN TURKEY" (PDF). Istanbul Policy Center.
  • Şahin, Ümit; Türkkan, Seçil (January 2019). "TURKEY'S CLIMATE POLICIES HAVE REACHED A DEADLOCK: IT TAKES COURAGE TO RESOLVE IT" (PDF). saha. Vol. Special Issue 2. pp. 24–30. ISSN 2149-7885.
  • "SIXTH NATIONAL COMMUNICATION OF TURKEY Under The UNFCCC" (PDF). Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. 2016.
  • "Seventh National Communication of Turkey under the UNFCCC" (PDF). Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. 26 December 2018.
  • "OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Turkey 2019". OECD. OECD Environmental Performance Reviews. February 2019. doi:10.1787/9789264309753-en. ISBN 9789264309746.
  • Republic of Turkey Climate Change Action Plan 2011 - 2023 (PDF) (Report). Ministry of Environment and Urbanization General Directorate of Environmental Management Climate Change Department. 2012.


  1. ^ "Turkey battles climate change: Nationwide efforts give hope for the future". Daily Sabah. 11 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Küresel ısınma". Kocaeli Province water board. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  3. ^ Şen, Prof. Dr. Ömer Lütfi. "CLIMATE CHANGE IN TURKEY". Mercator-IPC Fellowship Program. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Monthly and Seasonal Trend Analysis of Maximum Temperatures over Turkey" (PDF). International Journal of Engineering Science and Computing. 7 (11). November 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Each Country's Share of CO2 Emissions". Union of Concerned Scientists. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  6. ^ "BROWN TO GREEN: G20 TRANSITION TO A LOW CARBON ECONOMY" (PDF). Climate Transparency. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Fossil Fuel Support - TUR", OECD, accessed September 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Statistics on Environment, 2016". Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  9. ^ CO2 emissions from fuel combustion: Highlights (PDF). International Energy Agency. 2017. p. 97.
  11. ^ Turkey's Seventh National Communication and Third Biennial Report to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (PDF). Republic of Turkey Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  12. ^ a b İKLİM DEĞİŞİKLİĞİNİN YEREL ETKİLERİ RAPORU (PDF). TEMA Vakfı Proje Ekibi WWF-Türkiye Proje Ekibi. March 2015. ISBN 978-975-7169-77-2.
  13. ^ "Extreme weather threatens Turkey amid climate change fears". Daily Sabah. 17 May 2018.
  14. ^ Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (2016), p. 22
  15. ^ a b "Temperature to increase significantly in Turkey in 30 years due to global warming, warns climate expert". Hürriyet Daily News. 19 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Climate change triggers extreme weather in Turkey". DailySabah. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  17. ^ Ward, Lyn (2019-08-27). "Climate change and wildfires - a vicious circle". Fethiye Times. Retrieved 2019-09-04.
  18. ^ "Deforestation prevention key to fight climate change - Turkey News". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  19. ^ "Turkey reeling from African heat wave". Daily Sabah. 2 July 2017.
  20. ^ "Gov't forced to take measures amid below average rainfall across Turkey". Hürriyet Daily News. 21 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Lightning electrifies Istanbul, northwestern Turkey skies as thunderstorms take over". Daily Sabah. 24 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Istanbul flood result of Turkey's climate change". ANADOLU AGENCY. 27 July 2017.
  24. ^ Çetin, Nefise; Mansuroğlu, Sibel; Kalaycı Önaç, Ayşe (2018). "Xeriscaping Feasibility as an Urban Adaptation Method for Global Warming: A Case Study from Turkey". Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 27 (3): 1009–1018. doi:10.15244/pjoes/76678.
  25. ^ "İstanbul İklim Değişikliği Eylem Planı". Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  26. ^ YILDIRIM ÖZCAN, Kübra (2018). "Akademik Kurumlarda Örgütsel Adalet Ve Dişlanma İlişkisi: Araştirma Görevlileri Üzerine Bir Araştirma". Trakya Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi: 177–194. doi:10.26468/trakyasobed.502209.
  27. ^ Baldasso, V.; Soncini, A.; Azzoni, R.S.; et al. (2018). "Recent evolution of glaciers in Western Asia in response to global warming: the case study of Mount Ararat, Turkey". Theor Appl Climatol. 137 (1–2): 45–59. doi:10.1007/s00704-018-2581-7.
  28. ^ "Will Turkey's thirst for dam building add an element of combustibility to a regional water crisis?". Equal Times. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  29. ^ "Increasing Droughts in Turkey are likely to put Pressure on its Hydropower Sector". Future Directions International. 2019-07-03. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  30. ^ "Reducing emissions could mitigate worst effects of climate change, study finds".
  31. ^ Rojas, Maisa; Lambert, Fabrice; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Challinor, Andrew J. (2019-04-02). "Emergence of robust precipitation changes across crop production areas in the 21st century". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116 (14): 6673–6678. doi:10.1073/pnas.1811463116. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 6452695. PMID 30858318.
  32. ^ a b c Dudu, Hasan; Çakmak, Erol H. (2018). "Climate change and agriculture: an integrated approach to evaluate economy-wide effects for Turkey". Climate and Development. 10 (3): 275–288. doi:10.1080/17565529.2017.1372259.
  33. ^ Ağaçayak, Tuğba; Keyman, E. Fuat. "WATER AND FOOD SECURITY IN TURKEY IN A CHANGING CLIMATE" (PDF). Istanbul Policy Center, Sabancı University. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  34. ^ "Climate change hits Turkey's richest highland villages". Daily Sabah.
  35. ^ "Lake Van warms up, threatening ecosystem". IHLAS NEWS AGENCY. 21 February 2018.
  36. ^ "CHP'li Gülizar Biçer'in Paris İklim Anlaşması Konuşması". Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  37. ^ "Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage in the Context of Turkish Energy Market" (PDF). IICEC. June 2018.
  38. ^ "'When adults fail, we need to take action,' says activist - Turkey News". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  39. ^ "Extinction Rebellion calls for people to 'rise up' against Turkish government". Morning Star. 16 April 2019.
  40. ^ Matthew E. Kahn Kamiar Mohaddes Ryan N.C. Ng M. Hashem Pesaran Mehdi Raissi Jui-Chung Yang (August 2019). "LONG-TERM MACROECONOMIC EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE: A CROSS-COUNTRY ANALYSIS" (PDF). NBER Working Paper Series.
  41. ^ Bodetti, Austin. "Why Turkish academic Ibrahim Ozdemir is pushing for an Islamic approach to environmentalism". alaraby. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  42. ^ "Islamic Declaration on Climate Change" UNFCCC, 18 August 2015
  43. ^ "Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change" (PDF). The Islamic Foundation For Ecology And Environmental Sciences. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  44. ^ "Turkey's stage-struck grannies act to save the planet". 2019-08-29. Retrieved 2019-09-04.
  45. ^ "Enhancing Required Joint Efforts on Climate Action Project".
  46. ^ Yalcin, Fatma Aggul; Yalcin, Mehmet (2017). "Turkish Primary Science Teacher Candidates' Understandings of Global Warming and Ozone Layer Depletion". Journal of Education and Training Studies. 5 (10): 218. doi:10.11114/jets.v5i10.2225.
  47. ^ Aksoy, Niyazi; Gok, Ozge Solak; Mutlu, Halim; Kılınc, Gizem (2015). "CO2 Emission from Geothermal Power Plants in Turkey". Proceedings World Geothermal Congress.
  48. ^ OECD (2019), page 38
  49. ^ "1st International Conference on Local Climate Action". 25 April 2019.
  50. ^ "Turkey steps up to the plate in fight for environment". DailySabah. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
  51. ^ "Turkey's National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan" (PDF). General Directorate of Environmental Management, Department of Climate Change, August 2012, Ankara (2nd edition). Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning (Turkey). Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  52. ^ "The Carbon Brief Profile: Turkey". Carbon Brief. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  53. ^ "Local activism at the heart of fight against 'global heating' - Turkey News". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 2020-02-10.

External resourcesEdit

External linksEdit