Almost half of greater Istanbul covered with forests

Published 05.04.2016 23:09

According to a recent announcement by the Istanbul Governorate, more than 45 percent of Istanbul is forested land. The governorate reported that an area of more than 240 hectares is covered with forest in the city, with a surface area of almost 532,000 hectares.

The city has 126 recreational areas, 26 nature parks, two wildlife protection areas and four wetland areas with other places for wild animal reproduction. Situated on the Çatalca Peninsula, Belgrade Forest is the city's most well-known forested land. A significant portion of the city's drinking water is provided from the rivers flowing along the forest. Historic aqueducts still stand over certain rivers. Belgrade Forest can be a good choice for families with children looking for a walking trail in a green space on the weekend. On the city's Asian side, the Istanbul City Forest, situated between the Beykoz and Ümraniye districts, is another forest with rich flora and fauna.

Likewise, the Kayışdağı Forest is also situated on the Asian side, between the districts of Ataşehir and Maltepe. In the city's European side, Sevgililer Forest is located between the districts of Eyüp and Arnavutköy. The forest is an extension of Belgrade Forest. With its topographic structure, soil and climate, the city is very suitable for forests. The city's Black Sea coast has richer forest areas compared to the southern parts due to the higher precipitation rate. Turkey has around 21.7 million hectares of forested area, mostly located in mountainous regions with high biodiversity. Deciduous forests are also prevalent along the northern parts of Turkey. The Forestry Ministry has transformed 900,000 hectares of land to forested land in the last 12 years.

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