Turkey- EU relations were initiated in the framework of the association regime based on the Ankara Agreement which was signed with the European Economic Community on 12 September 1963 and gained momentum with Turkey’s application for formal membership into the European Community on 14 April 1987. Turkey’s entrance to Customs Union, which constitutes an important stage of Turkey's integration with the EU, entered into force on 1 January 1996. European Council recognizes Turkey as a candidate on equal footing with other potential candidates on 12 December 1999 at the Helsinki Summit. Progress Reports are being prepared for Turkey since 1998.

ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION APPROXIMATION PROGRESS

Chapter 27 Environment was opened for Turkey on 21 December 2009 during the Intergovernmental Conference in Brussels. Six Closing Criteria (One political and five technical) has been established for the chapter. 15 % of the IPA funds in Turkey are allocated to the environment which constitutes one of the major areas . But as was repeated in the 2014 Progress Report, “Turkey has made some progress in aligning legislation in the fields of environment and climate change, whereas enforcement remains weak. While a stronger political commitment and re-establishment of regular policy dialogue on environment and climate change would help accelerating the alignment with and implementation of the acquis, the real challenge remains to conciliate growth and environmental concerns. More ambitious and better coordinated environment and climate policies still need to be established and implemented.” EU Accession process has lost its momentum in the last years in Turkey. New EU strategy of Turkey" announced in September 2014 aims to establish new communication channels between Turkey and the EU and accelerate the reform process. This strategy is established on the basis of resoluteness, sustainability and efficiency and consists of three legs: "Political Reform Process", "Socio-economic Transformation during the Accession Process", EU Communication Strategy."

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Top Findings

Finding
1 In Turkey, there are over 40 legislative clauses under different law and regulations about water. There is the need to adopt to EU Water Framework Directive.
2

Turkey was actively involved in the negotiation of the The Aarhus Convention (full title: Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters) from 1996 to 1998 but did not sign it and has never acceded to it.

3

Turkey has yet not adopted the Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA).

4

Turkey’s overall domestic greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly increasing and the lack of an overall domestic GHG emissions reduction target is limiting Turkey’s capacity to comply with EU’s climate and energy policies.

5

Ministry of Environment was merged with Ministry of Urbanization in 2011 which caused the priorities of the Ministry to change. There is also confusion between authorities since Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs is a seperate institution.

6

Top Recommendations

Recommendation
1

TEMA Foundation, in cooperation with other stakeholders, drafted a framework law on water. The draft has been published with the support of Env.net project. Turkey has to adopt a Framework Lawn on Water with public participation.

2

Turkey needs to sign the Aarhus Convention and adopt the public rights addressed in the three pillars of the Convention: Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice, across decisions concerning the local, national and transboundary environment.

3

Given the rate of development and number of associated investments in Turkey, Turkey needs to urgently adopt the SEA and start its implementation.

4

Turkey needs to declare a national mitigation target and cuts down its current plans on fosil fuel investments, replacing them with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

5

General Directorates in relation to environment should again gather under one Ministry.

6


EU environmental policy categories

Legislation:

Work is in progress to approximate to EU Water Framework Directive.
Water Affairs Directorate General has been set up in 2011 with the mission of carrying out this legislative process in Turkey by the ministry. Later in 2012, the Regulation regarding Protection of Water Basins and Preparation of Management Plans has been enacted as well.

Implementation:

There is work in progress to turn River Basin Action Plans to River Basin Management Plans.
There are 25 basins which are defined by the ministry in Turkey and each basin has its River Basin Action Plans according to the Turkish legislation. However present plans are not compatible with EU standards. The Regulation regarding Protection of Water Basins and Preparation of Management Plans entered into force on 17 October 2012 for the EU adoption. There is now work in progress to turn the River Basin Action Plans to River Basin Management Plans. Currently there are pilot work going on in 4 basins namely Meric-Ergene, Menderes, Susurluk and Konya Closed Basins

Legislation Gaps:

There is no Framework Law on Water.

Transboundary consultations on water issues with neighbouring countries are still at an early stage.

Implementation Gaps:

There is the need to convert the currently available River Basin Action Plans to EU compatible River Basin Management Plans for 25 river basins in Turkey. (This number is too high compared to other candidate countries which means large amount of financial and human resources is needed for such an adoption). There are critical differences between two structures such River Basin Councils. According to the EU legislation each river basin must have a river basin council. In Turkey the river basin councils have very recently set up in every 25 basins however requires capacity to run properly and the ministry is conducting training of trainers to build a certain level of capacity for those basin councils. 4 TEMA representatives have become members of those councils. Besides, a technical upgrade of operation is needed for the river basin management as well. Identification of problems of the river basins and the water quality is outdated and require an EU competency in terms of conservation approach, measurement techniques and reference values.

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Legislation:

Law on Ground Water (Date 23.12.1960, No: 10688)
As part of EU adoption, the regulation of management of ground water quality has been enacted in late 2012.

Implementation:

The laws adopted are sometimes dismantled by additional regulations and provisional clauses.

Legislation Gaps:

There is no Framework Law on Water.
Provisional Clause 3 of the Law on Ground Water indicates due to a decision of Council of Ministers announced on Official Gazette on 4.3.2014, water management system establishment for those with license to open well, gallery, tunel or other underground water use purposes has been postponed till 02.04.2016.

Implementation Gaps:

Turkey has been experiencing drought in the last couple of years and this increases the need to protect underground water whereas decisions like this undermines the protection required by law.
There are thousands of illegal water-wells which have been severe threat to underground water. Water intensive crop pattern and lack of enforcement has made this problem unsolved for years.
With the justification of energy needs, hydro projects have been severe threat against rivers at any scale for years. There are 2 different issues with it, first the right to environment which is below mentioned and secondly the energy policies favouring hydro projects.

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Legislation:

Environment Law
Date: 9/8/1983 No:2872
Urban WasteWater Treatment Regulation
Date: 08.01.2006 No: 26047
Determination of Tariffs for Wastewater Infrastructure and Municipal Solid Waste Disposal Facilities Regulation on Procedures and Principles
Date 27.09.2010 Official Gazette no: 277742

Implementation:

Major portion of the preaccession technical assistance from the EU goes to waste water treatment facilities.
According to The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, 25% of municipal population was benefiting from the wastewater treatment facilities in 2002, 75,6% in 2014. This number is expected to increase to %85 in 2017 and %100 by 2023.

Legislation Gaps:

There is no Framework Law on Water.
Institutional restructuring under the 2014 metropolitan municipality law, which is expected to improve implementation of environmental legislation such as the urban waste water directive, poses organisational, financial, and coordination challenges

Implementation Gaps:

There is still need to increase administrative capacity and public awareness.
No information available on how many of the facilities are not in use.

Legislation:

Environment Law
Date: 9/8/1983 No:2872
Water Pollution Control Regulation (date:31.12.2004 No: 25687)
Regulation on Groundwater Quality
Date: 30.11.2012 Official Gazette No: 28482
Regulation for the Control of Pollution of Water and its environment Caused by Water and Hazardous Substances
Date: 26.11.2005 Official Gazette No: 26005
Regulation on the quality of water intended for human consumption
Date 17.02.2005 Official Gazette No: 25730
Regulation on Protection of Waters Against Pollution caused from Nitrates from Agricultural Sources
Date: 18.02.2004 Official Gazette No: 25377

Implementation:

Turkey is not a water-rich country and water resources are not distributed evenly in the country. In this context, effective and integrated management of water resources is of great importance for Turkey.

According to European Environment Agency, in 2012, among 38 European countries, Turkey was among the countries with the highest nitrate concentrations in rivers and with the highest orthophosphate concentrations in rivers were Turkey.

Legislation Gaps:

There is no Framework Law on Water. While EU regulations like 2006/11/EC are included in the EU Water Framework Directive, in Turkey, water pollution related issues are trying to be tackled under different legal arrangements.

Implementation Gaps:
Legislation:

Law On The Right of Access to Information, (Law No: 4982), came into force on 24/10/2003, regulating the procedure and the basis of the right to information
Revision to the Article 74 of the Constitution, granting every citizens the right to request information

Implementation:

The Law is implemented according to the” By-law on Rules and Procedures for the Implementation of the Law on Right of Access to Information” – LIRAI. The scope of the law covers “all kind of data that is held by public institutions. Accordingly, all public institutions are required to take necessary administrative and technical measures to provide information to all applicants, including the citizens, foreigners residing in Turkey and foreign legal entities

Legislation Gaps:

Turkey has not signed the Aarhus Convention, yet and consequently, Turkey has not yet aligned with the acquis on issues such as access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters.

Implementation Gaps:

The deadlines for providing Information are not respected by the institutions, or the quality of the information is low when deadline is met. Institutions do not have enough capacity to respond the requests in time. The enforcement remains weak.

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Legislation:

Since the adoption EIA Regulation in 1993, it has been changed in total 18 times, 6 of which is complete change. Current regulation is dated 25.11.2014 with no 29186. Last change to the regulation has been made on 09.02.2016

Implementation:

The Regulation is implemented through the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, Directorate General of Environmental Impact Assessment, Permit and Inspection.

Legislation Gaps:

With changes and included exemptions in the Regulation itself and dismantling through other Laws in Force, EIA Regulation has turned into a formality rather than an environmental check on projects.

Implementation Gaps:

According to statistics, Republic of Turkey Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, in the period between 1993 and 2015, out of 56521 applications, 51200 have been granted with “no EIA is required” decision, 4501 have been granted a positive EIA decision and only 43 applications are granted with a negative decision.

Legislation:

SEA Regulation draft has been prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanism.

Implementation:

There are pilot implementations. Ministry is implementing a capacity development project. Pilot SEA’s have been implemented in four different sectors: energy, agriculture, regional planning, and water management

Legislation Gaps:

There is no current legislation on SEA. Alignment with EU SEA Directive is still pending

Implementation Gaps:

There is still need to increase administrative capacity. There is a lack of interest from other ministries which may have stakes in investment projects.

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The Law on Use of Renewable Energy Sources in Electrcity Production (Date: 18.05.2005 No: 25819 ) regulates, and aims to expand, the utilization of renewable energy sources for generating electric energy
Furthermore, the “Electricity Market Law” (Law No: 4628, Date: 03.03.2001) Article 5/p also mentions incentivizing the use of renewable energy resources.

Implementation:

Several implementing regulations were issued under the Electricity Market Law, including on unlicensed electricity generation, aiming to promote small-scale renewable energy sources.
The proportion of electricity generation provided by renewable energy sources increased from 27% in 2012 to 29% in 2013; most of the increase came from new wind power plants.
The National Renewable Energy Action Plan for Turkey has been published in December 2014, according to which Turkey plans to have an electricity generation mix in which the share of renewable energy accounts for 30% of overall need by 2023.

Legislation Gaps:

Turkey’s overall domestic greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly increasing and the lack of an overall domestic GHG emissions reduction target is limiting Turkey’s capacity to comply with EU’s climate and energy policies. It is important to underline the importance of establishing a link between domestic energy and climate policies, a more rapid uptake of renewable energy resources and transition to a low carbon economy. In this respect, the attempted increase in Turkey's coal power capacity requires special attention.

Implementation Gaps:

Government's current energy strategies, particularly those on electricity supply, heavily depend on coal and other fossil fuels, in addition to plans to increase the amount of coal power plans contradict with climate change efforts Turkey is expected to pay. As of 2014; there are 29 active coal power plants (over 50 MW) and almost 80 new coal power plant projects in pipeline (50 of which are in permit and licence evaluation, the rest is announced). If all projects planned in Turkey's energy vision for 2023 come to realize, the amount of coal related CO2 emissions which was 21,5 million tonnes in 1990 and 68,7 million tonnes in 2012 is expected to reach 200 million tonnes by 2023. This will mean that the emissions will be far from their peak levels before 2020.

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2/4/2015 Official Gazette No. 29314 Waste Management Regulation
Waste management implementing legislation aimed at aligning with the Waste Framework Directive was adopted in April 2015. Implementing legislation aligning with the Mining Waste Directive was also adopted in July 2015.

Implementation:

Ministry of Environment and Urbanization is responsible for its implementation. A new waste management program was introduced to separate domestic waste from reusable waste (HoReCa). This new program aims to reduce production of waste by half. Since the last 10 years waste management legislations and standards have improved however there is still a lack of integrated regional solutions in regards to solid waste management. Work has continued to bring waste treatment facilities up to EU standards. Sorting, recycling, medical waste treatment capacity and hazardous waste recycling have increased.

Legislation Gaps:

There is no Waste Framework Directive but the Ministry suggests that Waste Management Directive is introduced in parallel to 2008/98/EC Waste Framework Directive.
All in all the directive and related regulations do adopt the principle of minimizing waste production however there is no monitoring mechanism and criminal or penal sanction involved or prescribed in the directive or regulations below. The monitoring mechanisms should be improved, monitoring parties should be specifically indicated and the aforementioned directive and regulations should include this information to be aligned with the EU legislation and to adopt the principles of Acquis Communitaire.

Implementation Gaps:

Local governments and private sector do form alliances in regards to waste management however government support is necessary to execute the planned activities for implementation. Turkey has been storing most (99%) of its domestic waste as opposed to the EU , which recycles 23.7% and composts 17.8% The requirement to prepare and implement waste management plans, stemming from the EU Waste Framework Directive, has not yet been met.

Legislation:

27/10/2010 Official Gazette No. 27742 Regulation for Principles and Procedures Related to Wastewater Infrastructure and Solid Waste Disposal Facilities

Implementation:
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There is no specific legislation on Sewage sludge but it is mentioned in the wastewater regulation.

Implementation Gaps:
Legislation:

22/07/2005 Official Gazette No.25883 Regulation on Control of Medical Waste
14/03/2005 Official Gazette No. 25755 Regulation on Control of Hazardous Waste adopts the minimization in the origin of production and polluter pays principles.
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposal (1994)

Implementation:
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Ministry of Environment has failed to intervene in numerous issues related to hazardous waste; a recent case in Izmir represents an important example for this phenomenon. A ship which has completed its lifetime carrying natural gas is being detached since July, 2016, which causes release of various harmful gases. Although there are legal measures prohibiting the detachment of the ship in addition to a continuing lawsuit, the Ministry fails to intervene and stop the faulty implementation of the legislation.

Legislation:

20/03/2015 Official Gazette No. 29301 Notice on Waste Transportation on Land Route This regulation covers transportation of waste through land routes (except for nuclear, mining wastes and end of life vehicles).
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposal (1994)
03/03/2015 Official Gazette No. 29284 Regulation on Transportation of Hazardous Waste on Marine Route :it is based on Basel Convention and follows SOLAS Guidelines

Implementation:

Transported waste in any form is monitored with MoTAT system
Basel Convention is a Convention with power of law

Legislation Gaps:

As Turkey is a member of the Basel Convention, there are no legislative gaps at this time.

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Legislation:

There is no legislation on titanium dioxide waste specifically, the existing legislation focuses on hazardous materials in general;13/03/2005 dated Regulation on Control of Hazardous Waste (Official Gazette No. 25755)

Implementation:
Legislation Gaps:

The existing legislation does not involve elimination and monitoring of waste that contains titanium dioxide.

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Legislation:

31/08/2004 Official Gazette Regulation on the Control of Batteries and Accumulators

Implementation:
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Does not eliminate hazardous substances involved in battery and accumulator production; no reference to labels that indicate the hazardous materials in these.

Implementation Gaps:

There is no measure to monitor the elimination strategy of batteries that contain hazardous substances like cadmium and mercury.

Legislation:

24/08/2011 Official Gazette No.28035 Regulation on the Control of Packaging Waste

Implementation:
Legislation Gaps:

Although the legislation mentions limits of production and usage, there is no measure of limitation for production and usage of packaging materials and waste

Implementation Gaps:

The regulation indicates that reusing of packaging material is aimed to reduce the produced waste, however recycling and reusing of packaging waste is not monitored and there is no deterrent measure for the implementation of the regulation. Further work is needed on separate collection of different types of waste and on reducing biodegradables.

Legislation:

27/12/2007 Official Gazette No.26739 Regulation on Polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated terphenyls (PCB/PCT)

Implementation:
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The regulation is completely aligned with the EU legislation.

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30/12/2009 Official Gazette No.27448 Regulation on the Control of End of Life Vehicles

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15/07/2015 No. 29417 Regulation on Mining Wastes
The regulation holds the mining company responsible for the costs and actions related to the mining area once the production is finished.

Implementation:
Legislation Gaps:

Does not adopt the polluter pays principle, does not include management of waste in the mining are that is not caused by the mine itself. Furthermore the Ministry and other local authorities have little to no responsibility (except for monitoring) for mining waste.

Implementation Gaps:

The company that manages the mine is held fully responsible for mine-related waste; however there is no monitoring mechanism or deterrent measure involved in the implementation process. The mine is usually left open with landfill and excavated soil.

Legislation:

26/12/2008 Official Gazette No. 27092 Regulation on Restriction and prohibition of the use of hazardous substances and mixtures

Implementation:
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22/05/2012 Official Gazette No. 28300
As electrical equipment also include hazardous materials, it is extremely important for the waste to be properly managed and for the reusable content to be separated.

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06/10/2010 Official Gazette No. 27721 Regulation on Incineration of Waste

Implementation:

Ministry of Environment and Urbanization is responsible for the implementation of the regulation on incineration of waste. According to the Turkish Statistics’ Institute 2014 Report the amount of incinerated waste has decreased to 4,000 tones (0.01) in 2014.

Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:

The above mentioned statistics only cover open air fires: there is no data on incineration of other sort.

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26/03/2010 Official Gazette No. 27533 Regulation on Regular Waste Storage determines measures to minimize environmental pollution, building of storage units and their maintenance

Implementation:

A national recycling strategy and action plan was adopted by the Higher Planning Council of the Ministry in December 2014.

Legislation Gaps:

This regulation adopts landfill as the primary waste disposal strategy, however studies reflect that building of new landfill sites won’t be beneficial for Turkey’s waste management strategies, on the contrary this would take up a vast area that would be misused.

Implementation Gaps:

Further work is needed on separate collection of different types of waste and on reducing biodegradables.

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