Turkey is aiming to be the world leader in the number of Blue Flag beaches as part of its 2023 targets to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic.
“Blue Flag” is an exclusive eco-label awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to beaches and marinas that meet certain criteria, such as water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management and safety.
“We are ranked third in the world after Spain and Greece, regarding best-protected beaches,” Davutoğlu said at a mass inauguration ceremony of environment and infrastructure projects on April 9, worth some 500 million Turkish Liras ($193 million), by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization at Ankara’s ATO Congresium.
According to the 2014 list, Turkey was third, with 383 beaches and 21 marinas awarded the Blue Flag, from a total of 70 countries. Spain topped the list with 573 beaches and Greece came in second with 407.
The prime minister also pointed to other important environmental developments during the 13-year rule of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Davutoğlu said they planted 3.5 billion trees equating to some 4 million hectares of forests.
He said the number of solid waste storage facilities had gone from 15 in 2003 to 79 in 2014.
“We increased the number of waste water treatment facilities six-fold in 13 years,” he added.
Davutoğlu also mentioned the country’s 186 air quality control stations, a number they hoped to increase to 330 by 2023.