Flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall and caused by profit-oriented urbanization plans of AKP government on Wednesday hit Turkey's northern Ordu province.
Four bridges collapsed and hundreds of people remained struck at homes and cars, urgently seeking help as heavy floods swept Ordu and its districts.
Hundreds of workers were evacuated from factories, and tonnes of hazelnut crops were swept away. A total of 715 workers, at a hazelnut farm and a textile factory, had to be moved to safety, the governor’s office said.
Local media report that 30,000 tons of hazelnut crops were washed away in the floodwaters. Turkey produces nearly 70% of the world’s hazelnuts, according to the Customs and Trade Ministry.
Helicopters, ambulances and bulldozers were dispatched to several neighbourhoods in Ordu, one of 18 provinces along the 1,700km Black Sea coast.
More than half a million people were affected. Broadcast footage showed people scrambling to higher ground.
The Black Sea Coastal Highway, the main artery connecting the region from east to west, was collapsed. With the development of the Black Sea coastal road, the sea was forced back, losing precious meters of its water. The highway was one of the mega projects of AKP government.
People and experts blamed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling AKP party's turning a blind eye on the reckless environmental policies and approval of controversial hydroelectric power plant (HES) projects, which cause significant deforestation in the Black Sea region.
AKP government's profit-oriented urban transformation led to the flash floods tens of times in several cities.