Turkey braces for hotter-than-usual September

Turkey is poised to experience above-average temperatures in September this year, following a summer plagued by a series of heat…

Turkey braces for hotter-than-usual September

Climate Change Representation image (iStock)

Turkey is poised to experience above-average temperatures in September this year, following a summer plagued by a series of heat waves attributed to climate change, according to scientists.

Levent Kurnaz, director of the Center for Climate Change and Policy Studies at Istanbul’s Bogazici University, cautioned that the El Nino effect is expected to elevate temperatures to unprecedented levels this month, Xinhua news agency reported.

“In Turkey, the peak of summer heat typically occurs at the end of July and the first week of August, followed by a cooling trend. However, September this year is likely to be notably warmer than usual,” Kurnaz told local media.


El Nino is a climate pattern that occurs every few years in the Pacific Ocean. It is characterised by the warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

This warming causes changes in weather patterns around the world, including changes in rainfalls, temperatures, and storms.

“We anticipate significantly higher temperatures in 2024 compared to this year, with the potential for daily temperature records to be broken regularly,” stated the scientist.

The warming weather has also led to severe rainstorms in certain regions of the country, resulting in loss of life and property.

As of Wednesday night, flash floods in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, and the neighboring province of Kirklareli had claimed at least seven lives, with more than 30 others injured.

“Hot weather and climate change are to blame for such weather events,” said Dilek Caliskan, a meteorological expert with the private NTV news channel.

August witnessed exceptionally high temperatures in Turkey this year, marked by multiple heat waves that pushed temperatures to 45 degrees Celsius in southern regions and 40 in the capital Ankara.

The southern province of Hatay reported a temperature of 50 degrees on August 15, marking the country’s highest-ever temperature on record.

Meanwhile, droughts are becoming more frequent and severe in Turkey, impacting major cities like Istanbul and Ankara, which are grappling with rising temperatures.

Data from the General Directorate of Meteorology shows that Turkey’s average temperature in 2022 was 14.5 degrees Celsius, surpassing the 1991-2020 average of 13.9 degrees Celsius by 0.6 degrees.

Adil Tek, head of Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory Meteorology Laboratory, emphasised that Turkey, like other nations worldwide, is suffering from the consequences of the climate crisis, including soaring temperatures.

In a n interview with Xinhua, Tek underscored a notable increase in the number of hot days, particularly days with tropical nighttime temperatures above certain thresholds.

The climate crisis is also significantly affecting agricultural production in Turkey.

Agriculture expert and writer Ali Ekber Yildirim emphasized in a recent video blog that the climate crisis has emerged as a major problem for Turkey’s agriculture.

“Hailstorms, frost, and numerous disasters have led to significant losses in production, efficiency, and quality this year for many crops such as raisins, potatoes, and tomatoes,” he noted.

Yildirim also highlighted that the reduced yield contributed to rising prices for fruits and vegetables this summer.

In another worrying development linked to climate change, Turkish scientists have documented the rapid retreat of glacial ice on one of the nation’s highest peaks.

A late July research conducted by Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa Faculty of Engineering in the glacier of Mount Cilo, located in the southeastern province of Hakkari, revealed alarming levels of ice melt, as reported by private Haberturk news channel.

The glaciers on Mount Cilo are crucial water sources for many cities and irrigation in the surrounding agricultural plains.

Continued glacial retreat threatens water supplies for millions downstream in the coming decades, according to researchers.