Last Saturday, 30th May, members of TURMEPA, Fethiye’s branch of the Turkish Chamber of Shipping and the town’s private ESNAF Hospital, organised a group of 35 volunteers to visit beaches on Kızıl (Red) Island and Tavşan (Rabbit Island) on for a grand clean up.
This year the event was organised by two of Turkeys leading marine NGOs, TURMEPA (Turkish Marine Environment Protection Association) and the Fethiye branch of the Chamber of Shipping and the costs were covered by ESNAF hospital. Leading British tourism NGO, The Travel Foundation and Muğla University Health Faculty also supported the event.
Fethiye has been awarded Blue Flags for many of its beaches but due to currents, winter storms, heavy marine traffic and high levels of tourism, garbage inevitably accumulates on its extensive mainland and island shores.
At the start of every season local groups have historically come together to remove rubbish from beaches that has accumulated over the winter months as a result of storms.
Too many plastic bottles
This year a total of 69 enormous sacks of rubbish were collected. Plastic bottles, drinks cans and plastic bags made up the majority of the rubbish but there was also a lot of fishing line, and even a motorcycle helmet.
More about TURMEPA
The DenizTemiz Association – TURMEPA –was founded by Turkish businessman, Rahmi M. Koç, together with the Chamber of Shipping in 1994 with the objective of making the protection of Turkish coasts and waters a national priority; creating a legacy of a sustainable Turkey for future generations.
Taking its strength from public support, TURMEPA’s vision is to become the most effective force behind the implementation of national and international legislation for the protection of seas and coastlines.
Making holidays greener
Each July, the Travel Foundation has a Make Holidays Greener month, which is an annual campaign… See makeholidaysgreener.org.uk for more details.
More beach cleans will be organised and it is hoped that these events will increase public awareness and deter littering and fly tipping.
Thanks to Tuna Turan from ESNAF Hospital for the photographs.