With a population of 520,000, Çanakkale lies at the corner of the Aegean and Marmara seas. The city has hosted a number of notorious battles, including throughout the First World War, and has many historical monuments. Due to its favourable climate, dense forest, coast lines and the well-known Ida Mountains, Çanakkale is a hot spot for summer tourism and camping. Yet despite this revered natural landscape, Çanakkale’s residents breathe air which contains PM2.5 particles at a rate that is 20% higher than WHO’s recommended levels (12 µg/m3 of PM2.5).
Unfortunately Çanakkale residents are at risk of breathing more polluted air in the near future, as the coast lines attract actors from the coal power and heavy metals industry. In addition to three existing active and two under construction coal power plants, a further 11 new coal power plants are planned for the city.
Ask for an end to coal power
According to the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, air pollution is the number one environmental risk in Çanakkale, where coal power plants are the leading threat to air quality. Officially there are three air quality monitoring stations in the region. One monitoring station located in Can, a small town that hosts various lignite mines and a coal power plant, measured annual PM10 levels three times WHO’s safe limits in 2016 (63 µg/m3 PM10). Turkey officially measures air pollution in all its 81 cities, including Çanakkale, but only PM10 and SOx (sulphur oxides) are measured, not smaller particles such as PM2.5, which are most critical for human health.
To protect public health from air pollution, we must draw attention to the links between dirty coal power plants and air pollution and we must be able to more accurately measure air quality.
As a Turkish citizen, you can express your demands and ask about the air pollution levels in your city by using the acquisition of knowledge system of Turkish Ministry of Urban and Environment. You can use our example letter below or write your own.