Turkey has updated regulations aiming to combat agricultural nitrate pollution in rivers and soil. The revised rules include procedures and principles for determining, reducing and eliminating nitrate pollution. Turkish water areas will be surveyed over the next two years to determine nitrate levels and vulnerable locations. Tailored action plans will be also be prepared and executed for vulnerable areas.

The Regulation On Protection Of Waters From Agricultural Nitrate Pollution (“Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 29779 on 23 July 2016, entering into force on the same date. The Regulation was jointly issued by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, with the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs.

Under the Regulation, the Ministries will determine pollution in waters and soil, considering the physical and environmental properties of the related water and soil. Accordingly, the Ministries will:

  • Check all ground and surface waters, natural lakes, other freshwater bodies, estuaries, coastal waters and sea waters to determine whether they:
    • Contain more than 50 mg/l of nitrate, or may contain more than this level unless precautions are taken.
    • Are eutrophic, or may be eutrohic unless precautions are taken.
  • Announce nitrate sensitive areas via a Communiqué within two years, then revise this list at least every four years.
  • Announce a Good Agricultural Practices Code for farmers within two years, outlining precautions to protect waters from agricultural pollution.
  • Prepare a unique action plan for each sensitive area, considering scientific and technical data, as well as the region’s environmental properties.
  • Follow up and evaluate application of action plans for each sensitive area.

Please see this link for full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).