More Turkish beaches awarded Blue Flag status
ANTALYA - Anadolu AgencyTurkey now boasts the second-largest number of beaches with “Blue Flag” certificates following a large rise this year, according to the Turkey Foundation for Environmental Education (TÜRÇEV).
“Blue Flag” is an exclusive eco-label awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to beaches and marinas that meet certain criteria, such as water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management and safety.
Some 436 beaches acquired the right to display a Blue Flag certificate this year, said Dr. Cenk Halil Bayaz, a TÜRÇEV board member, during a meeting in the Mediterranean district of Manavgat.
“Spain tops the list with 578 beaches with a Blue Flag certificate, followed by Turkey with 436 beaches and Greece with 395 beaches. Turkey had 397 beaches with this certificate, and we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of such beaches this year, which is great for us,” he said.
Antalya tops list
Bayaz said the Mediterranean province of Antalya possessed the highest number of beaches with a Blue Flag certificate in the world.
Antalya is home to 200 of the 436 beaches with the Blue Flag certificate in total, Bayaz said.
“Antalya now has the highest number of beaches with the Blue Flag certificate both in Turkey and in the world. Some 85 beaches gained the Blue Flag certificate this year in the Antalya district of Manavgat,” he added.
The Blue Flag concept was born in France in 1985 where the first Blue Flags were awarded to coastal municipalities on the basis of criteria ranging from wastewater treatment to bathing water quality. In 1987, with support from the European Commission, the Blue Flag was brought to a European level, functioning as an instrument for the application of the EU Bathing Water Directive and including other areas of environmental management, such as waste management, coastal planning, protection and marinas.