A natural area with 26 million trees was destroyed in Istanbul in 10 years

A natural area with 26 million trees was destroyed in Istanbul in 10 years

The Koru Istanbul Strategy Document prepared by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) revealed the magnitude of natural areas that have been destroyed in the city in recent years and are in danger of extinction.

According to the information in the document, which also includes the action plan prepared for these areas, 87,445 hectares of natural and rural areas of Istanbul have been destroyed in the last 10 years. It was highlighted that this destruction in the city’s natural areas was even greater than the felling of 26 million trees.

This area also stands out for its size of 122,423 soccer fields.

’70 percent of Istanbul is under threat’

According to the document, 375,735 hectares of natural and rural areas in Istanbul are in danger of extinction.

Underlining that the size of this threatened area is even larger than a forest area with 112 million trees, the document states that “approximately 70 areas of Istanbul are threatened.”

The Defense of the Northern Forests protested the third bridge over the Bosphorus and the third airport, which will destroy the forests north of Istanbul; The police did not allow the group that wanted to walk from Tünel to Taksim. (Source: Warehouse Photos)


The document emphasizes that almost all natural and rural areas of Istanbul are surrounded by threatening and destructive projects, and that megaprojects, mining activities and urbanization pressure on natural areas come to the fore.

The findings obtained within the scope of the threat-destruction synthesis study were expressed point by point as follows:

* The natural and rural areas on the European side, which contain 58 percent of the forests north of Istanbul, are under intense destruction and pressure.

* On the European side, natural and rural areas within the study area, especially the districts of Çatalca, Arnavutköy, Başakşehir, Silivri, Sarıyer and Eyüpsultan, were under intense destruction and surrounded by threatening projects.

The natural and rural areas in these districts were destroyed due to the third bridge, the third airport, KMO and connecting roads, mining activities, construction and construction activities, excavation areas and landfills, high-speed rail lines and metro lines proposals.

The integrity of forests has been damaged, ecosystems and habitats have been fragmented, and watersheds have been damaged.

* Rural areas in Silivri, Çatalca and Başakşehir districts were destroyed by activities such as construction and construction, wind power plants, KMO and connecting roads.

3. Protest at the airport (Source: Depo Photos)


* The Anatolian side, which contains 42 percent of the forests north of Istanbul, is in a similar situation to the European side. Natural and rural areas within the study area, especially Beykoz, Çekmeköy, Şile and Ümraniye, are under intense destruction and are surrounded by threatening projects.

* Beykoz, Çekmeköy, Şile and Ümraniye districts are under construction and construction destruction, KMO and connecting roads, mining, industrial areas, high-speed train lines, proposed metro lines and Melen drinking water pipeline activities.

* On the Anatolian side, the integrity of forests was disrupted, ecosystems and habitats were fragmented, and watersheds were damaged.

* Natural and rural areas on the Anatolian side are threatened due to construction and construction activities, mining license areas, dams, high-speed trains and proposed metro line projects.


In said document, the measures to be taken with respect to the destroyed areas were included under the headings of ‘priority action areas’ and ‘action plan’.

Accordingly, six regions were identified as “priority action areas.”

The region determined as the first priority action area was ‘Sazlıdere and Terkos Basins, water resources and agricultural areas’, which are threatened by the Istanbul Canal.

The second priority action area is the Terkos Basin and the agricultural areas within its area of ​​influence, which are threatened by the activities of the Third Bridge and KMO connection and the activities of the Third Airport; The third priority action area was the Ömerli basin, which is threatened by mining activities.

The locations determined as the other three priority areas of action are listed in the following table:

Source: IMM

Citizens who wanted to avoid the destruction that the third airport in Istanbul would cause walked from the Taksim tunnel to Galatasaray Square wearing costumes and slogans.


In addition to the six regions where “priority action areas” were determined, the document also included an “action plan” measure, and in this plan 12 objectives, 66 actions and 50 projects were proposed.

These are listed below: Inventory Protection Project Package, Environmental Sustainability and Quality of Life Improvement Project Package, Conservation and Development Project Package, Rural Development Project Package, Campaigns and Awareness Project Package and Governance Project Package.


On the other hand, President Tayyip Erdoğan stated that at the International Summit of Cities and Non-Governmental Organizations he attended in 2017, the value of Istanbul was not known and said: “We betrayed this city and I am responsible for it.”

Erdogan continued:

“The most important beauty of ancient cities is that they melt what is new in them, without losing their main characters, and they re-knead them, adding their essence. Istanbul is a truly exceptional city in this sense. But we do not appreciate this city, we betrayed it, we continue to betray it and I am responsible for it.

Although our homes expand, our hearts become narrower. “As our buildings grow, our horizon becomes darker.”

Source: Sozcu


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