Turtles in Turkey

There are 17 officially recognized loggerhead and green turtle nesting beaches located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. See also Turtles in Greece

WWF – Marine turtle conservation in Turkey

The Akyatan lagoon on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast is one of the most important green turtle nesting beaches in the region and is a major wintering site for migrating birds. The area also hosts a wide range of animals such as the golden jackal, which is a major threat to the turtles as it goes after their eggs. But although the beach is relatively remote, it suffers from pollution.

WWF is monitoring the turtle’s nesting sites along the 22km-long Akyatan beach and working with local government authorities to improve marine turtle conservation.

Turtles in the Akyatan lagoon (Wikipdia)

The green turtle is a globally endangered species and in the Mediterranean, the species is considered as critically endangered (IUCN 2000) with only 200–300 nesting females remaining, 43% of all nests being at Akyatan, making it the most significant breeding areas of green turtles at the Mediterranean. Adding Kazanl? and Samanda? beaches, Çukurova region holds 62% of the Mediterranean nesting population

Turkish Town Bans Fireworks to Save Sea Turtles

This week, the K?z?lot municipality in Antalya’s Manavgat district announced that it would ban fireworks during the summer season, when loggerhead sea turtles are breeding along the area’s seven-kilometer beach, the Anatolia News Agency reported. Loggerheads in the Mediterranean mate from late March to early June, with the female nesting season reaching its peak in June and July, depending on the nesting beach. Their tiny hatchlings’ subsequent trek to the sea has already been a subject of debate in many resort areas, since hotel lights and other artificial illumination can lead them astray. The fireworks add a new wrinkle to the problem.

Turtles in Dalyan

Dalyan was very much in the public eye, when in 1986 developers wanted to construct a luxury holiday resort on the nearby beach of Iztuzu. What caused the uproar was the fact, that the beach was the breeding ground for the endangered species of the loggerhead sea turtles.

The lucky result was, that luxury hotels were built elsewhere and the beach is now a restricted area and wildlife sanctuary for the turtles. The beach is closed during the time when the loggerheads have and protect their young. Of course, the motive of the famous turtles dominates every nook and cranny of the town of Dalyan. Sculptures of turtles are everywhere, not to mention the innumerable souvenir shops and stalls which sell them in every imaginable shape and material.

The Dekamer Centre was built after Iztuzu Beach in Dalyan won Best Open Space in Times Travel’s inaugural Green Spaces awards in 2008. “Winning the award helped us to gain permission to set up the centre from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, to acquire funding from my university for the equipment and to win the support of the new Mayor of Dalyan, who has helped us build the centre,” said Professor Yakup Kaska, of the biology department of the University of Pamukkale. His team monitors the turtles.

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