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Heavy sulfurid smoke over a blue sky

Improving air quality by reducing emissions


The growth of urbanisation and industrialisation, coupled with deficient urban planning, resulted in an increase in air pollution in Türkiye. Industrial emissions, car exhaust, residential heating and power generation all contributed to a significant deterioration in air quality. Yet, the scale of the problem was unclear, due to the absence of reliable data on the levels of mono-nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and ozone gas in the air. As part of its accession preparations, Türkiye was required to develop the necessary infrastructure to implement EU standards on air quality.

The aims of the project and its core activities

The purpose of this project was to enable the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation to adopt and implement the EU directive requiring countries to set upper limits for four main pollutants – sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and ammonia.

This process involved assessing national legislation and preparing it for the adoption of national ceilings for each of the four pollutants. Beforehand, a survey on current and projected emission levels was conducted across the country, focusing on industrial, residential heating and vehicle sources. In addition, staff from the relevant ministries (environment and energy) and the Turkish Statistical Institute were trained in data and source analysis for the four pollutants in question and in air quality modelling.

Another activity involved raising awareness, through seminars and workshops, among stakeholders and the public on the need to regulate emissions and to explore what the possible impact of taking action could be.

Looking to the future, the project established a comprehensive, long-term strategy to improve air quality. This roadmap included action plans on reducing emissions.


IPA I (2007–2013)


  • Budget: €2.05 million (EU contribution €1.91 million)
  • Province: Nationwide
  • Status: Completed in 2013