Türkİye, Environment

Environmental developments in Turkey in 2021

Turkey renames Environment and Urbanization Ministry to Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry

Burak Bir   | 26.12.2021
Environmental developments in Turkey in 2021


Turkey this year formulated a slew of green policies aimed at protecting the environment and curbing climate change, including ratifying the Paris Agreement in parliament.

Anadolu Agency has compiled the following environmental developments during 2021:


Jan. 10:

- Precipitation in Turkey's Marmara region is nearly half of what it has been in recent years in December.

Jan. 18:

- Turkey's solar energy capacity is expected to increase over 100% this year, the head of the Turkish Solar Energy Industry Association (GENSED) informs Anadolu Agency.

Jan. 28:

- The rate of air pollution in Istanbul decreases by 10% last year compared to 2019, a climatologist at Istanbul Technical University tells Anadolu Agency.


Feb. 16:

- Turkish scientists intend to introduce Antarctic hair grass' genetic material into wheat plants to make them resistant to the extremely arid and salty environment.

Feb. 19:

- The crystal-clear Lake Salda in southwestern Turkey can shed light on "exciting" scientific research involving Mars, says Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum.

Feb. 25:

- Turkey's success in increasing its forest assets is certified by the UN, with the country ranking first in Europe and sixth worldwide for afforestation, according to a report released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization spanning the period 2015 to 2020.


March 4:

- Mehmet Emin Birpinar, Turkey’s chief negotiator for climate change talks, says the reason for the migrations due to civil wars will change, while climate migration will continue all over the world due to climatic reasons such as the flooding of coastal areas.

March 25:

- Turkey's First Lady Emine Erdogan receives Global Action Award from the UN Development Project (UNDP) for the country's zero waste project that she leads.

March 30:

- For Turkey, in one of the regions most affected by climate change, green transformation is not a choice but a necessity, says the head of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD).


April 2:

- The Environment Ministry launches a 3D software development project that can instantly detect the points that cause air pollution.

April 13:

- The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry aims to produce 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy from solar, 11,000 megawatts from wind, 32,000 megawatts from hydraulics, and 3,000 megawatts from geothermal biomass by 2023.

April 22:

- Turkey demands that it be treated equally as a member of the global climate system, and adds that it will continue to contribute to global climate action.


May 1:

- Sea snot, or mucilage, begins to expand and becomes more visible on Turkey's Sea of Marmara.

May 7:

- A total of 984 meteorological disasters occurs in Turkey in 2020, the highest number since 1940, according to official figures.

May 13:

- A total of 289 bird species are observed this year in Turkey, the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks says on World Migratory Bird Day.

May 28:

- Turkey's central bank publishes a study on financial risks stemming from climate change and environmental finance for the first time in its 32nd Financial Stability Report.


June 3:

- Turkish private lender Yapi Kredi announces that it will no longer finance coal-fired thermal power plants and coal mining.

June 6:

- Turkish authorities announce a 22-point action plan to clear a recent surge in mucilage, also known as sea snot, that covers the surface of the Sea of Marmara's northwest parts.

June 10:

- Forty-four new insect species are discovered in Turkey in recent years, the majority of which are hunters that benefit agriculture, according to a Turkish entomologist from Celal Bayar University.

June 17:

- May 2021 is the warmest month in the last 51 years in Turkey, according to the country's Meteorology Department.


July 2:

- The ratio of plastic waste among the total waste in Turkey is 15%, while nearly 10 million tons of plastic is produced in the country, says the Street Waste Collectors Association.

July 16:

- Turkey's Trade Ministry releases landmark Green Deal Action Plan that includes 32 objectives and 81 actions in nine categories to power Turkey’s transition to a more sustainable, greener economy in line to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

July 17:

- Parts of Turkey’s Black Sea region hit by flooding and landslides will be officially declared a disaster area, the Turkish president announces.


Aug. 10:

- Global warming will affect Turkey just like every other country worldwide, and even after the end of this century, temperatures in Turkey can rise by as much as 6.5 degrees, warns a Turkish climatologist based in capital Ankara.

Aug. 24:

- The glaciers on Mt. Agri, Turkey's highest point with an altitude of 5,137 meters (approximately 16,853 feet), continue to melt due to the effects of climate change.

Aug. 30:

- Large globules of mucilage, which had been sighted since March in the Sea of Marmara offshore Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul, are now vanished.


Sept. 14:

- Turkey’s agriculture minister says the country is aiming to modernize its irrigation systems and agriculture.

Sept. 21:

- Turkey is planning to submit the Paris climate pact to parliament next month in line with its constructive steps and as a declaration of its contributions to the cause, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announces.

Sept. 24:

- Turkey will continue to pull its weight in tackling the climate crisis and ensure clean energy transformation, says the president.


OCT. 4:

- Turkey plans to organize a council at the beginning of next year to combat climate change, says the country's Environment and Urbanization minister.

Oct. 6:

- The Turkish parliament ratifies the Paris Climate Accords to contribute to the global efforts against climate change.

Oct. 11:

- Turkey renames the Environment and Urbanization Ministry to the Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry.

Oct. 27:

- Turkey is set to receive $3.157 billion from the Green Climate Fund, established to support climate actions in developing nations, under a recent agreement.


Nov. 2:

- Turkey can be coal-free by 2030 if fossil fuel companies are made financially responsible for their externalities in line with the "polluter pays" principle and the government discontinue coal subsidies, according to a new research published by various environmental organizations.

Nov. 10:

- The head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says on Wednesday that it will support Turkey’s transition to a green economy.

Nov. 11:

- Turkey aims to increase its forests to cover one-third of the country's surface area by 2023, the president says as part of National Afforestation Day.


Dec. 2:

- Turkey's president chairs a climate change meeting of the country's Presidential High Advisory Board, where the country's targets for addressing climate change concerns are discussed.

Dec. 7:

- The 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, also known as COP22, kicks off in Turkey's resort city of Antalya.

Dec. 10:

- The fifth edition of the Istanbul Economy Summit begins under the theme of "Green Economy."

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