Famous beaches closed at night for Caretta caretta
Those disobeying the rule on Çıralı, Olimpos and Patara beaches will be fined 109,785 Turkish Liras ($6,699).
Between May and September, loggerheads, also known as the Caretta caretta, and green turtles visit the beaches from the Aegean province of Aydın’s Kuşadası district to the southern province of Mersin’s Anamur district, all along the coastline, to leave their eggs.
But, Antalya’s Patara, Çıralı, Belek, Side and Kaş and the southwestern province of Muğla’s İztuzu beach are the main nesting grounds for the endangered species.
“In Patara, some 957 Caretta caretta came ashore last year, forming some 316 nests. Nearly 17,000 baby Caretta caretta put to sea,” said Eyüp Başkale, a professor from the Pamukkale University and the head of a team of 14 experts, checking the beach.
“This year, the ban to enter Patara beach started on May 15,” he added.
Besides entry, lighting a fire, setting tents, or any other activities on the beach are strictly forbidden. “Last year, some people were fined,” he reminded.
When asked if any sea animal has ever come to the beach, he said, “Yes.”
“Until now, two nests have been formed. Last year, this number was nine. I think this delay of one or two weeks is due to climate conditions,” he added.
Last year, some 3,000 babies hatched from 124 nests in Çıralı and some 160 babies went to the sea from four nests in Olimpos.
“Eight officers guard Çıralı and Olimpos beaches 24/7 on different shifts,” Erdal Elginöz, the president of Çıralı Shore Protection Commission, told Demirören News Agency on May 25.
Elginöz said they inform local and international tourists during the day about the night-time ban so they don’t get fined.