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I looked further into it because nothing was happening; the noise was not stopping. The people at the Environmental Department said that they prepared the reports and sent them to the Governor’s Office. They said that the Governor must send the reports to the Prefect’s Office in the district in which I live. The Prefect’s office then had to send the re-ports to the local Security Directorate. This file would then be sent to my local police station. The police station would then prepare the fine; and if the club objected to the fine, we would have to wait for the outcome of this process. So that summer also went by, and nothing changed.
The next summer the noise, of course, started again. I ask-ed the Governor’s Office as well as the Director of Environ-ment what happened with this issue that was processed the previous year. They said that was last year, and we would have to start the procedure again this year. I asked them if the officers weren’t still the same and exerted pressure on them. They then decided to go to the club with the fine from last year. The person at the club refused to accept the fine. They said that this fine was sent to the club with last year’s name, but that the name had changed. The only thing that had, in fact, changed was the name of the club. We could not get any results, so another summer went by.
The next year the Governor promised that he would solve the problem. Thirty-six new devices were purchased for measurements and were sent to all the districts so that when they received a complaint, they could take measure-ments and immediately process a fine. Around that time the Prefect of another district came to see me. During our con-versation I asked him if they had received the new devices sent by the Governor. He said they had received them and had started using them immediately. I asked him what they
did. He said that wherever there is a noise source, it must
be identified and the complaint brought to him. He said that an iron-processing factory and a nightclub in his district were the greatest sources of noise. He said that they went to both places, made the measurements immediately, and processed the fines. When I asked if fines had been im-posed, he said that they had made the measurements; but the noise levels weren’t excessive. I asked for the report. It turns out that the team had visited the nightclub during the day and the iron factory at night to make the measurements. The Prefect then said he gave up.
Perhaps you are curious as to whether we still have this noise from the nightclub. A year later, in June there was a reception at the British Consulate to commemorate the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. I was entering the venue of the reception with my wife and the nightclub owner was leaving with his wife. When he saw us he apologised for everything that had happened and said he would solve the problem this year. We thought that at last the state had taken measures, and he had decided to respect them. It turns out that his daughter, who had been living in London, had decided to come back to Istanbul. He said that he would not renew the contract with the nightclub and that his daughter would be moving into that house. This is how we got rid of the noise.
Editor’s note: Some readers may think how good that we’re not living in Turkey. But, when considering how often noise problems are being ignored in “civilised” countries as well, it becomes very clear that there still is a lot of room for improvements everywhere.
Mr. Eksi’s story was presented on August 29 at theINTER-NOISE 2007 Workshop “Public Pressure—An Effective Force”, and excerpted from the SOURCE BOOK on that conference, prepared by the Noise Control Foundation, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA. Please see announcement for 2008 conferences below.