Forests and lakes destroyed for Istanbul’s 3rd airport

Kuzey Ormanları Savunması​ (the ‘North
Forest Defence’) which campaigns to protect the forests to the north of
Istanbul, has made an English language version of a shocking video. It
documents the destruction of forests for the city’s third airport. Its ecocide:
piles of felled trees; a long line of earth moving trucks nose to tail along
the highway; bulldozers gouging away at the earth; forests, lakes and meadows
destroyed. A sheep farmer explains that there is nowhere for him to tend his
animals once the construction site is fenced off and fears dreadful
consequences of the loss of the forest, it attracts rainfall that the city
depends upon. The forest protectors want the world to know what is happening
here. People sharing this video in English on social media are urged to use the
hashtag #‎ResistAgainstInstanbul3rdAirport

The 3rd Airport
Project in İstanbul Against Life, Nature, Environment, Humanity and Law
 from Kuzey Ormanları Savunması

The third airport is linked
with other forest destroying megaprojects – a third bridge over the Bosphorus,
a motorway and a canal linking the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. On 26th
March Kuzey Ormanları Savunması​ held a press conference during which architect Mücella Yapıcı
warned of irreversible
ecological damage from the airport and other megaprojects
, and
announced that several business chambers, including the Chamber of Architects
and the Chamber of Engineers, have united to open a court case relating to two
Environmental Impact Reports in court. Both reports, prepared for investors,
emphasised serious ecological destruction, with Yapıcı stating ‘This is the
massacre of Istanbul. We cannot just sit here silently and allow this’.

At the press conference,
Kuzey Ormanları Savunması​ presented its latest report. Entitled ‘Life,
Nature, Environment, Humanity and the Law against the Third Airport Project

(article in Turkish) it explains that the megaprojects – the bridge, highway,
canal and airport – are interconnected and designed to feed each others’
growth. The report also reveals that the new airport is not just an airport; it
is a plan for an aerotropolis (a city built around an airport), on a site of
over 76 square kilometres. Even if the new airport reaches its stated goal of
150 million passengers per year (which would make it the world’s busiest
airport), the land area far exceeds that which would be required for
aeronautical operations. Currently, Atlanta Airport in the US is the world’s
busiest passenger airport, handling 95 million passengers per year, covering a
site of 16.25 square kilometres.

The aerotropolis plan is
designed to trigger development on land surrounding it including business,
cultural and sports complexes, sprawling over the last remaining pristine
natural areas of the area. Negative environmental impacts from felling of
forests include loss of climate regulation through oxygen production and carbon
sequestration. There are serious concerns over the concreting over of lakes which
is a threat to Istanbul’s water supply and the loss of habitat hosting an
abundance of wildlife such as wolves, insects and at least 160 species of

* Original