Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife
and Natural Habitats

Standing Committee

Recommendation No. 24 (1991) on the protection of some beaches in Turkey of particular importance to marine turtles

(Adopted by the Standing Committee on 11 January 1991)

The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, acting under the terms of Article 14 of the convention,

Having regard to the aims of the convention to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats;

Recalling that Article 4 of the convention provides that each Contracting Party shall take appropriate and necessary legislative and administrative measures to ensure the conservation of the habitats of the wild flora and fauna species, especially those specified in Appendices I and II, and the conservation of endangered natural habitats;

Recalling further that Article 6 of the convention provides that, for the species specified in Appendix II, the deliberate damage to or destruction of breeding or resting sites will be prohibited;

Aware that a comprehensive survey of nesting beaches of Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas along the Mediterranean coastline of Turkey, undertaken in 1988, revealed at least seventeen important nesting beaches;

Recognising that the Government of Turkey has taken many positive steps to protect these beaches, including the designation of six as specially protected areas (SPAs);

Acknowledging that, in spite of these positive steps, some problems remain and a number of the seventeen beaches are under serious threat from construction, sand extraction, pollution and other factors;

Aware of the urgent need to solve these problems and to ensure the conservation of these beaches as soon as possible, particularly the Chelonia mydas beaches, because of the serious threat of extinction of that species in the Mediterranean;

Recommends that Turkey consider urgent practical steps to protect the seventeen nesting beaches and, in particular, consider:

a.         including marine turtle nesting beaches in the coastal marginal zone as defined in the littoral law of 3 August 1990;

            b.         implementing prohibitions against sand extraction;

c.         designating sensitive zones (Hassas Zon) within specially protected areas and giving priority to turtle conservation over other activities within SPAs;

d.         halting construction activities at Fethiye and Patara beaches until management plans for these areas are drawn up;

e.         designating Akyatan and Agyatan areas as nature reserves;

f.          giving special attention to the need for erosion control, pollution control, light screening and beach platform reclamation at Kazanli;

g.         finding alternative sources of sand to the mining operation east of the Asi River at Samandagi;

h.         ensuring that increases in tourist development at Dalyan do not lead to damage of turtle nests or the nesting beach.