Istanbul, a ferry crossing the Bosphorus

The ”new normal” boosts pollution again

The end of the confinement measures due to the coronavirus has triggered contamination by 90% in Tekirdağ, 64% in Kocaeli, 48% in İzmir and 30% in Istanbul.

Pollution levels, which during confinement in the harshest weeks of the coronavirus pandemic had dropped by as much as 30% in cities like Istanbul, making even unusual things possible such as the city’s clean skies allowing to see the distant summits of Mt. Uludağ in Bursa (200 km away), have unfortunately increased again with the arrival of the “new normal“.

All the indicators show that the levels of pollution in the main cities are returning to the values ​​prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the Tekirdağ and Kocaeli provinces, two major industrial centres in the Marmara region (north-western Turkey), that are registering the largest increases in pollution, followed by the İzmir and Istanbul provinces.

On the opposite side we find provinces such as Samsun or Ordu, located on the Turkish Black Sea coast, where the levels of air pollution have curiously decreased since the de-escalation measures took effect on June 1.

Nationwide, 19 large cities have registered an average 8% increase in pollution, especially due to the notable increase in traffic. However, the increase in pollution in provinces such as Tekirdağ (90% more since June 1), Kocaeli (64%), İzmir (48%) and Istanbul (30%) is overwhelming.