Bureaucracy and Turkey’s legal system, the two being inextricably entwined, also appear amongst the most significant issues for settled foreigners. 

In reply to the question ‘Do you think that sufficient significance is given to protection of the environment and animals in Turkey?’ 75% of respondents said ‘No’.  Environmental issues also featured in individual comments:

‘The fumes and emissions are well below European standards.’

‘Rubbish everywhere is a serious problem’.

‘Recycling is not well organized’.

‘Turks should be educated in care of the countryside.’

‘………all the rubbish that is left on beaches and Turkey doesn’t seem to be interested in wild life, only buildings.’

‘……..the newly opened bird sanctuary needs more protection as do other picnic and forestry areas.’

Environmental issues in Turkey are well documented by such international bodies as the World Wildlife Fund which states, following a recent agreement to conserve a particular section of the Mediterranean coast in Turkey:

‘Mass tourism development is threatening the natural wealth of the Mediterranean – destroying natural areas and habitats, resulting in an excessive use of resources (land, water, energy) and contributing to all forms of pollution (water, waste and atmosphere).  It also threatens the region’s cultural wealth, and often doesn’t contribute significantly to local income.’

Settled foreigners are actively involved in animal issues having established, sometimes alongside Turkish activists, animal sanctuaries and welfare centres in most places covered in this project.  Fethiye Friends of Animals Association, set up and run by a retired Turkish business woman, sets standards for animal welfare nationally and is actively supported by settled foreigners.  As far as researchers were able to ascertain there are not yet any active local groups campaigning for better recycling facilities; anti-litter; flora and fauna conservation – perhaps readers who feel strongly about these issues could think about starting a group?

Bureaucracy and Turkey’s legal system, the two being inextricably entwined, also appear amongst the most significant issues for settled foreigners. When asked if they thought Turkish laws were ineffective or had gaps in the context of settled foreigners, 78% of respondents said ‘Yes’.  A follow-up question ‘Do you think Turkish laws are effectively implemented?’ produced a ‘No’ from 71.3%.  When asked if they felt local administrations and other public institutions helped settled foreigners with problems, 60.7% said ‘No’.  They were also asked to grade the quality of service from (1) Low to (10) High for a range of public bodies/services with the following results:

 

Justice & security

Land Deeds Office

Water

Electricity

Local councils

Responses

369

427

464

461

399

Mean

5.37

4.82

5.73

5.37

5.77

Median

5.00

5.00

6.00

5.00

6.00

And individual respondents also commented as follows:

‘The justice system seems to be ineffective against house builders and real estate agents’.

‘Local government corruption seems to be endemic.  Corruption is a world wide problem but here it is an epidemic.’

‘Purchase of property is very slow and drawn out.’

‘Local government does not work for the people’.

‘Legal system is very slow and inefficient’.

‘There seems to be great differences between provinces in the implementation of the law’.

The Turkish legal system is currently being overhauled as part of the EU harmonization process, a subject far too vast for Fethiye Times to tackle, although we will strive to bring you news of any positive changes as they occur.

The final part of this series will look at the conclusions arising from the survey.

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