Regulation renewals for Turkey’s environmental vision


Environmental problems are one of the root causes of today’s frequent disasters and pandemics. In this respect, a substantial transformation is happening in the world, whereby a new order is being established: A transformation that centers around the environment.

The world is moving towards the goal of using limited resources more effectively and efficiently, in a circular manner. This transformation is imperative.

The Human Development Report (HDR) of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which has been published annually since 1990, states that we have entered a new era – the Human Age. As scientific studies show, currently, the amount of mass produced biomass exceeds naturally-existing biomass.

In Turkey, a similar transformation can be seen. It is still fresh in many minds that, only in 1993, a horrific garbage explosion took the lives of 39 citizens in the country. However, right now, we are observing a transition period to the zero-waste model.

It is an environmental transformation that aims to boost a good deal of investment in the country. The more investment made in the environment, the lower health costs will be.

It can be said that Turkey is acting in line with this fact. Nevertheless, this initially requires a solid legal infrastructure.

The country’s Environmental Law No. 2872 of 1983 is almost 40 years old. Although the environment is a highly dynamic issue, Turkish law has remained untouched for many years, except for some minor regulations.

Environmental investments that started in Istanbul in 1994 have been spreading nationwide since 2002. Turkey’s environmental law has been subject to comprehensive revision three times, two of which were edited in the last two years, in order to correspond to the needs of the day and to be in harmony with the rest of the world.

The first comprehensive regulation was implemented in 2006. Upon the discovery of barrels containing hazardous chemical waste in the Orhanlı neighborhood of Istanbul’s Tuzla district, along with the increase in environmental concerns at the societal level, the regulation, which had been obsolete for years, was passed by the Parliament thanks to great efforts by then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The regulation increased environmental penalties as well as inspection activities.

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Daily Sabah, 24 March 2021