Environmental Justice in Turkey

Megaprojects in the Framework of Democracy and Rule of Law in Turkey and the EU

Wednesday, 27 Jan 2016 09:30



As Turkey and the EU have renewed talks on EU membership, addressing the ongoing erosion of the rule of law in Turkey will be one of the major challenges of the process. Government infringements on judicial independence, as well as the blatant disrespect of existing rules and regulations becomes more obvious when it comes to environmental protection.

The Turkish government has invested in several construction projects such as the building of a third airport and the third Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul, as well as several energy projects in the east of the country. Most of these projects violate environmental legislation and will have devastating effects on the eco-system. In order to raise awareness about the environmental effects of these projects and to advocate for greater compliance with EU environmental legislation, a mixed delegation of Turkish legal experts and environmental activists will visit Brussels with an aim to strengthening networks with their European counterparts.



  • Rebecca Harms (Greens/EFA, D), Co-President of the Green/EFA Group, Substitute Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • Sirpa Pietikainen (EPP, FIN), Former Environment Minister, Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Substitute Member of the Environment Committee  (tbc) 

Debate on State of rule of law in the context of environment 

Moderator : Bodil Valero (Greens/EFA, S), Member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, of the Committee on Petitions and of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Green Shadow rapporteur on Turkey

First input from:

  • Ibrahim Kaboğlu, Professor of Environmental Law at Marmara University
  • Mücella Yapıcı, Architect  
  • Can Atalay, Environmental Lawyer
  • Beyza Üstün,  Professor from Yıldız Tech. Univ and an ex-MP from HDP in previous parliament  
  • Patrick Paquet, Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission DG NEAR
  • Veronica Sabbag Afota, Policy Officer of the Turkey Desk of the EEAS

Debate among participants        

Debate on Turkish environmental policies in the context of accession negotiations with the EU  

Moderator: Ismail Ertug  (S&D, D), Co-President Turkey Friendship Group, Member of the Committee on Transport, Substitute Member on the Environment Committee  

First input from:

  • Nicholas Hanley, Head of Unit, DG ENVI
  • Ioana Ciuta, Energy Coordinator, CEE Bankwatch Network
  • Elif Gunduzyeli, Turkey Climate and Energy Policy Coordinator, Climate Action Network (tbc)
  • Cihan Uzunçarşılı Baysal,  North Forest Defence  
  • Arif Ali Cangı, Environmental Lawyer representing the Green Party      
  • Merhmet Horuş, Environmental Lawyer
  • Xavier Sol, Director Counter Balance  

Debate among participants


Ska Keller (Greens/EFA, D), Member of Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, Committee on International Trade and substitute member on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs


The Greens/European Free Alliance