In the Second Marmara Sea Symposium held in Istanbul on Tuesday, mayors from Turkey's northwestern Marmara region have expressed their concerns on pollution being carried by the Danube River into the Black Sea, reaching the Marmara Sea through strong currents in Bosporus.
Recep Altepe, chairman of Marmara Municipalities Union and mayor of Turkey's fourth largest city Bursa, said that they will hold a workshop with experts from 13 countries from the Danube's basin to evaluate the issues regarding the river.
"We are especially concerned that Danube River, originating from Germany and emptying into the Black Sea in Romania by flowing around 3,000 kilometers, is also a risk factor for the Marmara Sea. Danube River is a river that the pollution from 13 countries and 80 cities flow into. We keep our dialogue with local institutions in these countries regarding this issue" Altepe said.
Altepe stated that the region holds most of Turkey's population and economic activity, which ultimately leads to pollution. He added that they want to follow the examples in Europe, which managed to remove pollution even from the most polluted and industrialized areas over the last 25 to 30 years.
Speaking during the symposium, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Nature and Urbanism Mustafa Öztürk stated that they closely monitor Turkey's seas in 241 points to reduce pollution and improve water quality. Öztürk said that Marmara Sea alone has 59 points to watch water quality. He added that 98 percent of total 1,112 beaches in Marmara Sea has swimming water quality, while 905 beaches are at the excellent level.
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