Activists gather over 38,000 signatures against privatization of protected beach
Last month, the local municipality of Dalyan had decided to rent the beach, which was until now run by a public cooperative, to a private company.Activists have gathered 38,410 signatures against the recent plans to privatize İztuzu Beach, after the authorities’ attempt to open one of the last untouched seashores to investors caused huge outcry. The sandy beach on the Mediterranean, located within an archeological site, is a small haven for loggerhead turtles (caretta caretta) and a specially protected area.
Last month, the local municipality of Dalyan had decided to rent the beach, which was until now managed by a public cooperative, to a private company.
The Platform to Save İztuzu Beach has sent all of the signatures expressing their concerns over the privatization to the Environment Ministry, Muğla Governor’s Office and the Environment Protection Foundation of Turkey.
Often referred to as “Turtle Beach,” İztuzu has had a protected status since 1998 and is part of the Köyceğiz-Dalyan Environmental Protection area.
A recent project of building a hospital facility for the sea turtles was also opposed by the environmentalists, who objected that such a construction might have a negative effect to the turtles’ habitat if located next to the beach. Their concerns had prompted Environment Minister İdris Güllüce to negatively react, accusing them of fanaticism.