NASA has tweeted this morning and said that “Good morning Europe and Africa! Celebrate the Earth Day today by sharing with NASA a photo of the gorgeous planet we call home. Show us how you #PictureEarth around you.”

I replied sharing the photo below: a misty lake in the Belgrade Forest, İstanbul, Turkey.

A misty lake in the Belgrade Forest, İstanbul, Turkey
A misty lake in the Belgrade Forest, İstanbul, Turkey. But why there is a forest in İstanbul named “Belgrade Forest”? According to common belief, Belgrade Forest was named after a Serbian village that was forcibly relocated to the forest to manage the city’s water supply system during Ottoman times. The people of the village were captives from Suleiman’s (the Magnificent) Serbia campaign. Apparently they were known for being good at that sort of thing, and the sultan decided he’d prefer to have no one but the best looking after his aqueducts and dams. The water from the Belgrade Forest dams ended up along the European Bosporus shore all the way down (you can still see the remnants of the aqueducts in Bahcekoy) before getting terminated in the famous Taksim Square, where it was then distributed further. This is actually how Taksim got its name – “taksim” is Turkish for “distribution”.

You can also hear it!

Sounds of a misty lake in the Belgrade Forest, İstanbul, Turkey.

Earth Day

First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day is an annual event celebrated every year on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

Earth Day now includes events in more than 193 countries, which are coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.

Earth Day Network works year round to solve climate change, to end plastic pollution, to protect endangered species, and to broaden, educate, and activate the environmental movement across the globe.

Earth day - The Blue Marble
The Blue Marble – Earth as seen by Apollo 17 in 1972. NASA/Apollo 17 crew; taken by either Harrison Schmitt or Ron Evans. On December 7, 1972, the crew of Apollo 17 spacecraft took a photo of Earth from the space, at a distance about 45,000 kilometers (28,000 miles). This image, with the official NASA designation AS17-148-22727, became known as “The Blue Marble”. In fact, it was not the first clear image of Earth taken from the space – similar photos had already been taken as early as 1967. But, the 1970s were the scene of a big surge in environmental activism. For example, on April 22, 1970, the first “Earth Day” organized by Gaylord Nelson, former senator of Wisconsin, and Denis Hayes, Harvard graduate student. Millions of people gather in the United States for the event. So, in today’s terms, image AS17-148-22727 went “viral” and became a symbol of the environmental movement, as a depiction of Earth’s frailty, vulnerability, and isolation amid the vast expanse of space. According to the NASA archivist Mike Gentry, it is among the most widely distributed images in human history.


“Earth Day” on Wikipedia
Earth Day Network official page

M. Özgür Nevres
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