türkçe links to original Turkish article
(Hürriyet Newspaper, 9 December 2015)
Surrounding quarries have smothered the observatory in dust.
The TUG (TÜBİTAK National Observatory) was opened in
Bakırtepe, Antalya, in 1997 and is accepted as one of the best
places for space observation from Spain to India. However, because
of the dust and light pollution created by the four marble quarries
surrounding it (!), the observatory has for years experienced problems.
TUG's largest telescope is the 1.5-meter diameter RTT150 (Russian
Turkish Telescope), which belongs to Russia. Inspections of the
telescope dome have revealed that 99% of the dust there has been
created by the marble quarries. The dust has also damaged the
telescope's sensitive mirror, preventing clear observations.
As the result of complaints about the dust to the provincial
environmental directorate, a 225 square kilometer area around the
observatory is now a 'forbidden zone' for new quarries and the
existing ones cannot expand their operations.
Nevertheless, since the existing quarries' permits extend until
2021, there is no prospect for any near-term end to the damage
to the environment and the dust and light pollution they generate,
to the detriment of the TUG. (sigh...)
TUG Observatory at Bakırtepe, Antalya