The water has been cleared and schools of fish have been seen in a shallow section of a creek in Istanbul’s Asian side, which has long been a point of consternation over excessive pollution, after a cleaning project conducted over the last two months. Excessive pollution in Kurbağalıdere creek in the Fenerbahçe neighborhood in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district had alarmed local residents, environmental rights groups and advocates and activists in late July, as the creek emitted a foul odor and was seen with black-colored bubbles covering its surface, causing some to compare it to an “open sewage pit.”
However, with a recent project conducted by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality workers, the water has become clearer and the black bubbles have disappeared for the surface.
Schools of fish, including mullet and bluefish, have also been seen in the shallow parts of the creek.
The contamination of the creek spurred a protest in late July, as residents of Kadıköy along with members of several rights groups and environmental organizations protested the foul odor coming from the creek, which had been severely polluted by sewage water and environmental waste.
The group, including Republican People’s Party (CHP) Secretary-General Gürsel Tekin and deputies Mahmut Tanal and Barış Yarkadaş, held a demonstration at Kadıköy’s Yoğurtçu Park next to the creek late July 30, waving placards reading “Let life flow in the creek, not poison.”
The protest was called by Kadıköy City Solidarity, an environmental rights group, and conducted amid claims that the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s efforts to clean the creek were proceeding too slowly.
“We are inhaling poisonous gas because of an inconvenient cleaning work. All parts of Kadıköy and even the Marmara Sea are at risk. The creek, which has become an open sewage pit, is a major threat to human health. The cleaning work is moving so slowly that only one-third of the project has been completed in years,” the group of protesters said in a press briefing.