Barrels on roadside alarmed residents for fear of chemicals in İstanbul

Six barrels found by wayside alarmed citizens in İstanbul for fear of chemical agents as initial examination suspects of phosphoric acid
Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:33

Six barrels left by a roadside in İstanbul’s Büyükçekmece district on April 16 alarmed the residents and people around with the fear of possible existence of chemicals.

As the residents informed the municipality about the incident, a team from Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) was sent to the region. Following the first analysis at the scene, the team suspected that this could be phosphoric acid. After the AFAD team examined the suspicious barrels, they were transferred to a centre for further analysis.

It is widely known that phosphoric acid could be hazardous for skin and eyes in case of direct contact. The barrels could have led to a disaster if the chemicals had penetrated into the ground.

Earlier on April 4, some livestock were killed in Büyükçekmece because of chemical agents. Hydrogen cyanide was detected as an emergency team analysed the chemicals at a laboratory. Dozens of sheep and chicken died after they drank water mixed with chemicals.


Hundred locals alarmed on December 25, 2017, after the intense gas smell in İstanbul’s industrial district of Tuzla on the Anatolian side of the city. The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality announced after the investigation that the smell was caused by chemical waste discharged into the main sewer system and “there is no a situation that threatens human health”.

Despite the announcement of the Municipality, the intense gas smell caused many locals, especially children, to become ill and hospitalized with complaints of dizziness and vomiting, while the officers investigating the source of the chemical gas used protective clothing and gas masks.

“Chemical inspections and waste control in Istanbul are inadequate. There are serious shortcomings in the management of hazardous chemicals; so the authorities have to immediately take measures on this issued,” said in a following statement by the Chamber of Chemical Engineers.


Many citizens and experts criticize the AKP government for not performing required supervisions and controls, as the incidents of chemical leakages and wastes have gradually increased in recent times around Turkey.

As the case shows in İstanbul’s Tuzla district, most of the capitalist enterprises are free from inspection mechanisms considering that the municipal office only announced that illegal chemical discharge was detected, adding that it would not damage human health.

In consequence of the government-led pro-capitalist implementations in defiance of the people, the real reasons behind chemical wasters have never been examined properly. Neither any individual perpetrator went on trial for the chemicals founded around the country, nor any industrial group was called to account.