türkçe links to original Turkish article
(Milliyet Newspaper, 23 May 2016)
A mussel-bound load bound for Greece.
The importation of sand mussels from Turkey has been banned
because of high heavy metal proportions. Consequently, illegal
trade in the mussels has increased, with inexpensive meat coming
to Turkey from Greece in exchange.
Not to be confused with these muscles.
The mussels are extracted from Aliağa, near Izmir, and sold in
Greece for between 6-20 Euros per kilogram. The meat coming from
Greece to Turkey costs the traffickers between 5-8 Euros per kilo.
Mussels are not very popular in Turkey but are considered essential
in kitchens in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Italy and
France, where sauce is made from the mussels.
Aliağa is located north of Izmir on the Aegean Sea shore.
The mussel harvesting begins in Aliağa and Menemen, using rakes
and hydrolic pumping methods. The mussels are then moved to
Enez, in Edirne province, and from there in skiffs to Greece. In
the past 2.5 years, the Gendarmerie in Edirne has seized 72 tons of
live mussels, with a market value of 1 million Euros.
Enez for more info about the historic and exotic Enez.
Although it is illegal to move the mussels from the harvesting site,
they are nonetheless shipped by cars and trucks through 3 cities to
Enez. Those caught in the illegal mussels trade are fined 1055 TL
(about 300 USD), a comical amount.
Where the heck is Enez?