Iztuzu Beach in the Aegean region’s Mugla province is the main breeding ground for loggerhead sea turtles, also known as caretta carettas, but a loggerhead sea turtle was recently spotted for the first time in the Icmeler area near Marmaris, a popular tourist spot, and laid 61 eggs, which are currently under protection.
The loggerhead sea turtle came up on the Blue Flag beach at night and after laying its eggs, it returned to the sea. To protect the eggs from the waves, they were taken to a different place. Eyup BaSkale, a biology lecturer at Pamukkale University said that loggerhead sea turtles prefer clean waters and more may come up in the future, although the Iztuzu Beach remains their main breeding ground. Baskale said that they are taking necessary precautions at beaches to allow them to lay their eggs.
“We kindly ask local people not to stay at night on certain beaches and to put sunbeds away,” he said, adding that they also talk with near-by cafes and restaurants to raise awareness. Serdar Sazalan, a nearby hotel owner, said that the news is exciting. A female loggerhead sea turtle can build between three to five nests every two weeks. The breeding season continues until mid-July. Regular monitoring of loggerhead sea turtles continues and baby caretta carettas are born until the end of September. The breeding area of sea turtles in Iztuzu Beach has been taken under governmental protection. Last year, more than 20,000 baby loggerhead sea turtles were released into the sea.