A new problem has been added to a series of environmental contaminations in the industrial area of Dilovası. The township belongs to the province of Kocaeli at the eastern tip of the Sea of Marmara about 100 km east of Istanbul.
A white sticky substance has been raining down on Dilovası for about one week now. The white precipitation cannot be washed away and has reportedly started to rain down on Hereke, another town in the region, as well on Saturday (12 November).
bianet asked Prof Onur Hamzaoğlu about the situation in the region. Hamzaoğlu became the subject of an investigation in May this year after the publication of his study entitled "Causes of Death of People who Live in Areas with Intensive Industry: The Dilovası Case". Hamzaoğlu said that this was not a first in Dilovası. He voiced his assumption that the phenomenon stemmed from meteorological changes.
Prof Hamzaoğlu summarized what needed to be done in the present situation:
"An independent delegation has to be established immediately. The delegation should be joined by academics and technical personnel from the Governor's Office, the local government, the university and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) that has the most advanced laboratories".
"The delegation has to carry out an independent study. They should gather and analyze samples. Our appropriate technology area provides the necessary public academic environment. That technology should be used with a common mind".
"This is not the situation to say 'I had this and that analysed' but to say that 'we established a delegation that has been put in charge for this task'. This is how that sort of work is generally done in the world".
Evading the problem is not for the good of the people
Hamzaoğlu considered it a major deficiency that such a committee has not been established yet. He stressed that in this regard the "intent" was very important.
"This is nothing else but the power of the production units that are the source of this pollution. This is a power imposed on their behalf. Of course it is not for the good of the public to neglect the subject like this".
In terms of the health of the local people Hamzaoğlu emphasized that this was "a job that needed to be done systematically and promptly".
Sticky white substance
According to an announcement made by the Kocaeli Governor's Office, a sample of the white substance was taken and sent to TÜBİTAK on 9 November for an analysis. The Governor of Kocaeli, Ercan Topaca, said that the factory this substance came from was going to be closed once it would have been determined. (YY/VK)