Erdoğan vows to clean up ‘sea snot’, press on with construction projects

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his government would clean up the whole Sea of Marmara and declare it as an environmentally protected zone after swathes of ‘sea snot’ accumulated near its shoreline.

Turkey will introduce the “most advanced technology to our wastewater systems” to deal with the problem, Erdoğan said in a televised speech to lawmakers of his governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the capital Ankara on Wednesday.

"We’re also completing a strategic plan within three months, which includes our roadmap for a permanent solution to the mucilage problem," he said.

Erdoğan’s government has come under fire from opposition parties and environmentalists for stepping over environmental protection requirements in a series of large-scale development projects, including airports, roads, mines and a planned canal to circumvent the Bosporus in Istanbul.

In his address, Erdoğan spoke at length to defend both his government’s record on protecting the environment and its construction programme. He said opposition to the projects was aimed at targeting his administration and Turkey’s development.

The president also defended his government's efforts in fighting organised crime. He was responding to allegations of ties between senior officials and the Mafia in a series of tell-it-all YouTube videos published by crime boss Sedat Peker since the start of May.