85 spots in Istanbul approved for swimming
ISTANBULTurkish authorities have determined 85 spots that are suitable for swimming in Istanbul this year, the province public health director, Dr. Abdullah Emre Güner, has told the state-run Anadolu Agency in an interview.
The spots were determined by a provincial commission looking into the quality of sea water on beaches. The water was being analyzed during the swimming season by the Public Health Directorship, Güner said.
Indicating that the Public Health Directorate conducted its analyses in line with a bylaw released on Jan. 9, 2006, Güner said the directorship had been continuously informing the public regarding the assessment of the water quality since then.
“The analysis, instant assessment, and end of season classification results are being shared via the Turkish Public Health Institution’s website at http://yuzme.saglik.gov.tr/. It will be suitable for our citizens using the swimming areas to act in line with the information on the website,” said Güner, noting that the public health’s works were in line with the regulations of the European Union.
“When determining areas suitable for swimming, matters such as the number of swimmers, whether there is a water discharger in the surroundings of the swimming places and safety measures are all taken into account. It is because of this reason that our people prefer authorized spots or unbanned spots determined by the provincial swimming water commission and released by the Turkish Public Health Institute,” said Güner.
Indicating that the swimming season for Istanbul was set as June 1 - Sept. 15, he noted the public health directorate took sea water samples just before the start of the season and continued this analysis every 15 days during the swimming period.
Public health care centers located in Istanbul’s various districts were to take the samples to labs of the public health directorate for analysis, according to Güner.
“Every year before the swimming season, our directorate prepares a sampling calendar showing on which dates the samples would be taken. This sampling work is undertaken by our district public health centers on these determined dates even if the weather is rainy, windy or the sea is wavy. Negative weather or sea conditions can cause a temporary negative alteration in the swimming water quality. In such situations or due to other reasons where the results of the analysis show bad water quality, immediate work is undertaken regarding that swimming area,” said Güner.
In such cases, the public health directorate contacts the relevant institutions swiftly to ensure an increase in water quality. “We conduct follow-up works until the area is suitable for swimming. What we desire and wish from our citizens is that they do not go into the water in places other than the determined swimming areas. As mentioned before, another important matter during the determination of swimming areas is safety rules. Unfortunately, dramatic news such as drowning incidents and cases of people going missing during swimming season saddens us all terribly,” he said.