Emre Eser- İSTANBUL
Türkiye is in the grip of drought, and the country will pay a heavier price if strict actions are not immediately taken, experts have warned.
According to Prof. Dr. Murat Türkeş, a member of the Board of Directors of Boğaziçi University Climate Change and Policy Implementation and Research Center and a member of the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats (TEMA), most of the country is currently experiencing moderate to severe drought.
Türkeş said that despite the warnings made by experts for a long time, the danger of drought has not yet been fully understood.
Türkeş, commenting on the growing danger of drought, said that the country has received very limited rainfall since November.
“Our need for irrigation water will become more apparent around July. The situation is manageable for grains at the moment, but for vegetables and fruits that require plenty of water, the problem will be major in the summer,” he said.
He explained that production is carried out with the wrong kinds of crops in certain areas, especially in central and southeastern Anatolia regions.
“Despite the many warnings made for years, corn and sugar beet are still produced in certain regions. Moreover, this is encouraged in many places. This is a big mistake,” he said.
Stating that Türkiye is in serious need of rainfall, Türkeş stressed that citizens need to protect every drop of water that falls on the soil.
“We are also losing a significant part of the water we get from rainfall. Some of our regions face the risk of desertification. We urgently need to protect our catchment basins and forests with this in mind,” he warned.
In addition, he said there is a serious misuse of water in the industrial sector as some factories discharge their waste into clean water, stressing that “this pollution should no longer be tolerated.”
Underlining that Türkiye no longer has time to be off-guard about disasters, Türkeş said there are many studies on earthquakes and drought and yet he cannot see a serious step taken, while municipalities act as if there is no problem.