Like Izmir’s Menemen Tannery Zone, there is encouraging news from Tuzla, the first organised tanning area and tax-free zone on the fringe of Istanbul. Opening the zone to industries other than leather processing is helping to revive it.

The wastewater treatment system, in particular, functions to European standards and can handle heavy chemical waste to comply with REACh values. The zone is attracting chemical and industrial firms who require proof of environmental compliance and are conscious of the competitive advantage of using a ready-functioning system.

The number of working tanneries is expected to stay at about fifteen or twenty. All the tanneries own their own land and premises at Tuzla and it is anybody’s guess how much Istanbul’s near-by second airport and another upstart neighbour, the Istanbul Autodrome (built to host the Turkish lap of Formula One Racing in August) have multiplied local land values for tanners. The Tuzla district is looking stunningly modern compared to its dusty wasteland days.