Turkey, which had 127 Blue Flag-certificated beaches in 2002, increased this number to 324 in 2011, and now ranks fourth in the world after Spain, Greece and France.
Blue Flag is a certification given to beaches and marinas that meet the standards of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), and is becoming more important for areas that want to get their share from the world’s huge tourism cake.
The region with the highest number of blue flag beaches in Turkey is the southern Mediterranean city of Antalya, followed by the Aegean districts of Muğla and İzmir.
According to information compiled from the booklet “Beaches, Marinas and Yachts with Blue Flag Award,” prepared by the Turkey Environmental
Education Foundation, there has been a consistent increase in the number of blue flag beaches.
There are 32 standards to get the Blue Flag Award. These standards are gathered under the headlines “sea water quality, environmental education and management, security and services.” When a beach meets all these standards, the Blue Flag is flown on the beach during the swimming season. If the beach does not meet the standards, it loses the flag permanently or temporarily.
The number of blue flags in Turkish provinces are Antalya (174), Muğla (73), İzmir (28), Aydın (20), Balıkesir (17), Mersin (5), Çanakkale (5), Tekirdağ (1) and Düzce (1).
Hurriyet Daily news