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Turkey has been grappling with a rise in extreme weather events for the past eight years, with heavy rainfall, floods, storms, and forest fires being the most common occurrences. These events have been breaking meteorological records year after year since 2015, with a significant escalation witnessed since 2018. Recent reports have highlighted extreme drought data in several regions of the country, adding to the issue’s complexity.

Unfortunately, these extreme weather events have resulted in significant numbers of deaths and property losses in multiple areas of the country. In 2022 alone, Turkey observed an all-time high of 1,030 extreme weather events, with floods and rainfall accounting for 33.6% of them. The impact on cities has been more severe due to poor infrastructure and inadequate measures.

The need for nationwide plans and the closure of coal-fired thermal power plants has become urgently apparent to combat the rising frequency of extreme weather events. Poor air quality increases the risk of respiratory illness and exacerbates the effects of climate change. Turkey’s energy transition to more sustainable sources of energy is a vital step towards mitigating the risks of climate change.

The first two months of 2023 have experienced well below seasonal precipitation, with the average temperature for February dropping by 0.7 degrees Celsius to 3.4 degrees. Such weather patterns could have a debilitating impact on crops and food production, leading to fluctuations in prices and affecting the country’s economy.

It is crucial to address the root causes of extreme weather events and their associated consequences. Turkey must implement stringent policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adopt sustainable land-use practices, and invest in green infrastructure, especially in vulnerable areas. In addition, public awareness on the urgency of climate change and individual efforts towards sustainable living can make a significant difference in mitigating the risks of extreme weather events.