Southern beaches top list of facilities with Blue Flag
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The Blue Flag is a certification given by the Foundation for Environmental Education, indicating that a beach or marina meets its standards. This year the number of blue flag facilities increased 9.5 percent in Turkey compared to previous years and the southern province of Antalya has the greatest number of Blue Flag facilities with 190. Hürriyet photosThe southern province of Antalya has the highest number of Blue Flag facilities this year, according to a new report from the Turkish Environmental Education Foundation (TÜRÇEV), Anatolia news agency reported.
The Blue Flag is a certification given by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), indicating that a beach or marina meets its standards. Its criteria include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria.
This year the number of blue flag facilities increased 9.5 percent compared to previous years to include 355 beaches, 19 marinas and 13 yachts. Antalya has the greatest number of Blue Flag facilities with 190, with the province’s Manavgat district leading the way over neighboring jurisdictions. Antalya is followed by the Aegean province of Muğla which has 76 facilities.
Having the Blue Flag helps beaches and marinas compete in the world tourism market. The Blue Flag program first started in France in 1985 and has been applied in Turkey by TÜRÇEV since 1993.
According to TÜRÇEV’s 2012 report titled “Blue Flag beaches, marinas and yachts 2012,” the number of Blue Flag beaches in Turkey increases consistently every year.
In 2012, the Aegean provinces of Aydın and İzmir were respectively listed as possessing 22 and 32 Blue Flag facilities. The northwestern provinces of Balıkesir, Çanakkale and Istanbul had 17, five and two facilities, respectively, while the nearby provinces Tekirdağ, Kocaeli and Düzce had one facility each. The southern province of Mersin has eight facilities.
Following Spain (540), Greece (394) and France (358), Turkey has the fourth highest number of Blue Flag beaches this year out of 46 countries. Turkey is followed by Portugal (275), Denmark (253) and Italy (247).