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Cablegate: Turkey Welcomes U.S. Assistance For

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ANKARA 005333

SIPDIS

USDOC FOR ITA/MAC/EUR/RUSNACK

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV TBIO BEXP TU EU
SUBJECT: TURKEY WELCOMES U.S. ASSISTANCE FOR
ENVIRONMENT RELATED EU ACCESSION INVESTMENTS.

1. Summary. Faced with massive financial and
implementation challenges in meeting EU environmental
standards, Turkey is interested in working with the
U.S. Government and private sector in key environmental
areas such as medical waste, municipal solid waste, air
quality monitoring, wastewater treatment and manure
disposal from farms. This could offer opportunities
for enhanced government to government cooperation, as
well as for the U.S. private sector. End Summary.

2. Talking about EU accession environmental
requirements in a July meeting, Ministry of Environment
and Forestry Deputy Undersecretary Prof. Dr. Mustafa
Ozturk told EconOff, CAO and Scientific Affairs
Specialist that in order to meet EU environmental
standards Turkey needs institutional capacity building
and projects especially in the areas of medical waste,
municipal solid waste, air quality monitoring,
wastewater treatment and manure disposal from farms.
He estimated that 40-60 billion euros will be spent
over the coming 20 years in these sectors to comply
with EU acquis.

3. Ozturk implied that - although they are working
with EU specialists - Turkish organizations would
generally prefer to work on technical issues with EPA
and other U.S. environmental organizations. He
suggested organizing joint seminars and workshops in
the areas mentioned above with an eye to identifying
opportunities for more focused U.S.-Turkey cooperation
on environmental issues. He promised to send a letter
to the Embassy specifying areas of possible cooperation
as a follow-up to that conversation. Note: Embassy has
not received the letter, but will follow up with the
GOT. End Note.

4. A recent analysis of gaps in Turkey's domestic
environmental legislation and administrative
capabilities, carried out by European Commission
officials identified a long list of deficiencies in
water quality, air quality, waste management, nature
protection, industrial pollution, noise, chemicals, and
GMOs. A recent World Bank report estimated the total
cost for environmental investment for accession at
between 28-49 billion euros, or 1-2.5% of GDP of Turkey
per year for the 17 years. Current annual investment
in the environment sector is estimated at 0.5% of GDP,
around $1 billion. EU environment acquis are - in
general - prescriptive on standards, but flexible on
how to meet them, giving the GOT flexibility to be open
to international cooperation with non-EU countries.

5. In addition to financial assistance from the EU,
funding for this spending will come from a variety of
sources, including the GOT, the municipalities, state
enterprises and the private sector. Experience with
recent EU member states during their period of pre-
accession reveals that external funds from the EC would
likely provide only 25-30% of the state spending needs.

6. Comment: As in many areas of the potential EU
accession, Turkey faces difficult and costly challenges
in the environment chapter. Turkey is perceived as
generally weak on regulation and monitoring of
pollution, waste water treatment, and solid waste
disposal. Embassy engaged a science fellow three years
ago to work on the national sustainable development
report for the Johannesburg WWSD Summit. In addition
to the ideas suggested above, there may be room for
another fellow position to work on road-maps for
regulation, monitoring, and compliance in the
environmental sector and related to the EU process.
End comment.
MCELDOWNEY

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