Turkey’s Environmental and Urbanisation Ministry has introduced new principles for wind and solar power plants (“WPP” and “SPP” respectively). The rules outline restrictions on existing and new generation facilities in protected natural areas, as well as criteria where the local District Commission of Protection of Natural Heritage can allow projects to proceed.

Notable aspects of the rules include:

– New WPP projects are not permitted in sensitive areas which are subject to strict protection under legislation (“Sensitive Areas”). However, existing facilities can continue to operate until their current permission expires.

– WPP facilities currently in Sensitive Areas cannot increase their capacities by adding new turbines or changing their areas. However, the local District Commission of Protection of Natural Heritage can allow such expansions in certain limited circumstances.

– The following projects can continue activities in (i) qualified natural reserves and (ii) sustainable protection and controlled use areas:

    – Existing WPP facilities; and

    – WPP projects with approved construction plans.

– In (i) qualified natural reserves and (ii) sustainable protection and controlled use areas, the local District Commission of Protection of Natural Heritage can permit new WPP facilities to be built, provided:

   – Wind turbines are at least 300 metres from both:

     – Sensitive Areas.

     – Bird migration routes.

   – Wind turbines have automatic stop radar systems installed.

   – An ecology-based scientific research report exist.

– New SPP projects will not be permitted in:

   – First rank natural protected areas.

   – Sensitive Areas.

   – Qualified natural reserves.

– In certain circumstances, the local County Commission of Protection of Natural Heritage can allow new SPP facilities to be built in:

   – Second and Third rank natural protected areas.

   – Sustainable protection and controlled use areas.

The criteria for a new SPP projects to proceed are:

   – It must be at least 300 metres from Sensitive Areas

   – The combined total of existing and new SPP projects will not exceed 10% of a natural protected area.

Please see below links for full text of relevant principles, published in Official Gazette number 29959 on 25 January 2017 (only available in Turkish):

– Principles for Wind Power Plants

– Principles for Solar Power Plants

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.