Manavgat River becomes a ‘dump river’
ANTALYA – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoIncreasing pollution in the Manavgat River in Turkey’s southern touristic hub of Antalya has drawn reaction from tourism professionals working in the region, including the head of the city’s tourism group, who called it a “dump river.”
Recep Yavuz, the head of the Antalya City Council Tourism Working Group, pointed to refuse and construction projects on the shores of Manavgat River, where thousands of tourists take boat trips every year, as the main source of pollution in the river.
Yavuz said the river once had a turquoise color and clarity which attracted tourists with its fascinating beauty, adding there were many species of animals living on the river from kingfishers to terrapins. However, today the river has lost its former beauty due to the negligence of the people operating near its shores.
“Probably, the tour guides tell the old stories of the Manavgat River in this way, because the river’s beauty faded and what they tell is no longer there. On the boat trips, tourists see neither birds nor trees. Instead, they see hotel constructions, floating nylon bags and plastic bottles,” said Yavuz, who is also the general manager of NBK Touristic, a travel bureau.
Meanwhile, Yavuz said toilets for construction workers were worsening the pollution of the river, indicating that those toilets were not connected to the sewers.
“You can guess how much the tourists are surprised when they want to sunbathe on the dock but instead they see the toilets. The Manavgat River has become a dump river over the past 20 years. It is sad to see this kind of negligence and stolidity in one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Antalya,” said Yavuz.
Yavuz also urged everyone to be sensitive to the river’s pollution problem, warning that next month will mark the beginning of the tourist season.
“Next month, the tourist season will begin and thousands of tourists will again flock to Manavgat River every day. Particularly local administrators, non-governmental organizations and everyone who loves their city need to do their best to end this stolidity and restore the Manavgat River to its previous state,” he said.
Yavuz also offered an alternative for the touristic boat trips in the river to ease the level of pollution.
“Despite the commercial loss, we should suspend boat trips for a year if needed. Perhaps we should use nature-compatible transportation instead of motorboats,” said Yavuz.
Located in the southern province of Antalya, Manavgat River is considered one of the country’s most significant natural landmarks with its waterfalls and is an extension of one the world’s longest subterranean streams.