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Pollution at southern sea worrying locals and tourists

MUĞLA - Doğan News Agency | 7/20/2011 12:00:00 AM |

People are increasingly worried about growing pollution at Turkey’s iconic Ölüdeniz

People are increasingly worried about growing pollution at Turkey’s iconic Ölüdeniz, a southwestern coastal area popular with tourists, but many are divided about the cause of the increasing environmental problems.

Boat owners in the area have been accused of polluting the sea, but they blame the oily residue that parachute pilots have photographed on the water surface on swimmers’ sunscreens.

“The pollution results from the dust and dirt from pine trees drawn by the wind. The sunscreen creams used by thousands of people on the beaches of Belcekız and Kumburnu are another factor. Fourteen boats on the coast are not responsible for the pollution,” said Yüksel Karakaya, the head of the Belcekız Motorboats Cooperative.

Vacationers have also complained about being forced to swim in hotel pools rather than the sea.

Noting that this was the first time they had encountered such pollution on the coast, many vacationers said boats must be removed from the area immediately.

“We don’t know what to do about the situation. We [used to] take photos of the beauty of this coast. But now all we can photograph is filth. The authorities must take precautions immediately,” said Ceyhun Aksoy, a pilot for the Easy Riders Parachute Club.

İbrahim Akoğlu, the manager of Belcekız Beach and the coordinator of a handicraft company, said they had informed the authorities about the situation. “Although it is not our duty, we clean the sea surface [with our boats]. But the right precaution would be to remove boats from the coast.”

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