x0x 110 BLUE FLAGS ON TURKEY'S SHORES
As an increasingly popular holiday destination, particularly during
the summer season, Turkey is proud that the number of its beaches and
marinas to be granted the Blue Flag award has risen from 90 last year
to 110 this year.
Altogether 99 Turkish beaches and 11 marinas are now entitled to fly
the Blue Flag. The province of Antalya, the ultimate destination for
sea, sun and sand holidays, leads with no less than 54 flags. The
lively city itself, its spectacular environs, and many historic
monuments and ancient cities, attract the largest number of both
Turkish and foreign tourists of any Turkish province.
The Blue Flag beaches range from Konyaalti Beach in the city, to those
at Alanya to the east and to the vast Patara Beach to the west. The
most surprising place on the Blue Flag list is the inland city of
Elazig, which has been awarded two flags for beaches on the shore of
The Blue Flag awards are presented annually on the basis of
evaluations by the European Foundation of Environmental Education,
according to European Union health, safety and amenities standards for
beaches, and environmental conservation criteria for marinas.
The awards are an influential factor in the tourism market, since
holidaymakers preferred destinations with Blue Flag beaches, and
Europe's leading tour operators give priority to these destinations.
The Blue Flag programme operates in countries which are members or
candidates for membership of the European Union. Beaches likely to
meet Blue Flag standards are initially selected by the Turkish
Foundation for Environmental Education, and samples of sea water are
analysed every fifteen days throughout the season by the ministries of
Tourism and Health in cooperation with the foundation.
In addition facilities such as showers, lavatories, first aid posts,
life-saving services, and amenities for the disabled are inspected.
This year the European selection committee awarded Blue Flags to 2038
beaches and 708 marinas in Europe. Of the total 2746 Blue Flags
awarded this year, 1685 went to countries located on the Northern
Mediterranean coast, including Turkey.