Turkey Briefing Part 4: Government - Missing the big picture
There are plenty of well-meaning sustainability initiatives under way in Turkey, but a cultural movement for change has yet to take hold
Faced with soaring energy costs amid rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, the Turkish government late last year finally enacted a long-awaited law setting feed-in tariffs for renewable energy generation.
For environmentalists, though, the law contained a major catch. It allowed protected nature areas to be used for production facilities for renewable energy – including the massive hydroelectric dams they have been fighting for years.
The inconsistency reflects what the deputy director of the Regional Environmental Centre’s Turkey office calls a lack of overall vision on environmental issues. “There are a lot of laws but they are not enforced and do not serve a target,” says REC’s Kerem Okumus. “There is no sustainable long-term regulatory framework.”
The situation parallels that of most Turkish companies, which largely adopt individual initiatives that might fall under the heading of “corporate social responsibility” without making deeper changes to their practices and processes.