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(GEN) ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS CONDUCTED TO FACILITATE HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT, MINISTER SAYS.

ANKARA, Jan 20, 2011 (TUR) -- Turkish Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu said Thursday that environmental projects were conducted in Turkey not because the European Union (EU) demanded them but to facilitate a healthier environment for Turkish citizens.

Speaking at the inauguration of a conference on "Capacity Development Project in the Environment" at Ankara's Rixos Hotel, Minister Eroglu said that the chapter on environment was opened to negotiations with the EU on December 21, 2009 and that the Turkish government aimed at reaching EU standards in environment by making rooted and permanent reforms.

The topic of environment involves many institutions and bodies. It is a tough sector due to high costs involving the environment. 85 percent of Turkey's laws and regulations on environment are in harmony with the EU acquis, Eroglu said.

The chapter on environment is one of the latest ones opened by EU candidate countries as it is a difficult chapter. Turkey has opened the chapter on environment with courage and determination. We are working on the environment not merely because the EU wants them but in order to facilitate a healthier environment for Turkish citizens, Eroglu noted.

The chapter on environment will bring benefits based on costs involved. An environmental investment of 1 Turkish Lira (TL) prevents spending 10 TL in health related costs, Eroglu said.

Touching on air pollution in Turkish provinces, Minister Eroglu said that Turkey had reached EU standards in air pollution figures.

In his speech, Eroglu thanked all Turkish citizens who have helped in forestation activities.

Everyone has a responsibility to protect the environment. We must all be environmentalists, Eroglu also said.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:Anadolu (Eskisehir, Turkey)
Date:Jan 20, 2011
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