Save Hundreds of Lakes and Wildlife Habitats From Disappearing Forever

Target: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey

Goal: Confront devastation caused by pollution and mismanagement of public waterways and lands.

Birds fighting each other for scraps of food, piles of “sea snot,” hundreds of lakes running dry, over half of wetlands vanished: these are the tragic images of Turkey’s fading natural legacy. This country once hosted lush lake areas brimming with animals and visiting migratory birds. A host of factors, almost all of them human-caused, have pushed these once-vibrant ecosystems to the brink.

Turkey’s over-reliance on coal and its reputation as the “garbage dump” of the Middle East are significant drivers of these problems.  The relentless coal production helps steeply raise temperatures and drain lakes. The county also takes in massive amounts of plastic waste from other regions, and much of it ends up illegally disposed in supposedly protected public lands.

This government mismanagement extends to ever-dwindling and precious water supplies. Farmers are diverting massive amounts of groundwater to their thirsty crops. Compounding the crisis, construction projects also take water from lakes and other water sources without restraint.

Sign the petition below to demand leadership change course and protect its vital natural resources before they are irrevocably lost to history.


Dear President Erdoğan,

Lake Tuz has endured for centuries as one of the Middle East’s most expansive and storied lakes. Now, dead flamingos dot its bone-dry landscape. This natural travesty should be a warning to Turkey about its future if careless inaction continues. Animal are dying and vital water sources are receding across the nation.

Three major driving factors have been identified by scientists and researchers: global warming fueled by coal over-production, plastics pollution, and mismanagement of public lands and water systems. All these factors can be mitigated with decisive and actionable leadership. Alternative energy sources merit investment. The country needs to end its practice of receiving the rest of the world’s trash, especially plastics. Also of urgency, undeterred diversion of water by agricultural and construction interests must be addressed and remedied immediately.

Please commit to an action plan that boldly confronts these destructive issues. The fate of Turkey’s rich natural heritage, and the future of all living beings that call these beautiful places home, are at stake.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ray Swi-hymn

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