Turkish Foundation for Environmental Education (TÜRÇEV) general manager Erol Güngör has said there are many beaches in Turkey which could soon gain a “Blue Flag,” the international safety and environmental standard. Noting that they had been working on the beaches and intended to give new Blue Flags to Turkey’s beaches for the coming season, Güngör said there had been conflicting information and much discussion about beaches in Istanbul in particular.
The results of the İSKİ and Health Ministry analysis show that Istanbul beaches are healthy and clean. The sea water in Istanbul has been cleaned, yet people still believe the beaches to be dirty and hazardous. It is essential to raise awareness on this subject, said Güngör.
Noting that they were increasing work on the beaches, he said there was currently a total of 355 Blue Flag beaches in Turkey. There are no blue flag beaches in Istanbul’s center; however there are beaches in Şile, Ayazma and Ağlayankaya that have blue flags.
This year the number of blue flag beaches will increase to three in Şile. Güngör said Mersin has eight, Antalya has 190, Muğla has 76, Aydın has 22, İzmir has 32, Balıkesir has 17, Çanakkale has 5, Istanbul’s Şile has 2, while Tekirdağ, Kocaeli and Düzce each have one blue flag beach.
In awarding a blue flag to a beach, a total of 32 criteria must be met. The quality of the sea water, in particular, is very important, as well as environmental management, safety and services.