We really don’t want to do this… But everyone who loves Fethiye will know that the region has more than its fair share of beautiful beaches. Yesterday we mentioned in our FT news roundup that Turkish Marine Environment Protection NGO, TURMEPA and the Tui Resort Team got together last Wednesday [8th July] for a grand cleanup of two of them: the normally pretty Buyuk Boncuklu and Kucuk Boncuklu Bays.
What a picture!
Then we were sent the photographic evidence of what they found on their arrival [see above]. Fethiye Times is always happy to share news about these community minded projects. We don’t like litter but we’re not naive and know a certain amount is inevitable. In fact, seeing the rubbish being dealt by teams of local people is one the good things that happens in Fethiye throughout the summer months. And we want to celebrate that. But this is shameful.
Perhaps you thought the beaches would be reasonably clean at this time, there has been a flurry of clean-ups going on this summer. Maybe you thought that local as well as regional and national concern about the drop in tourist numbers might have spurred the authorities into action. In fact, Fethiye Mayor, Behçet Saatçı was seen only a matter of weeks ago collecting trash.
But from these photographs of the local beaches you can see what is being left is a shameful reminder of how lazy, careless and thoughtless humans can be of their environment.
It’s no joke…
The volunteers travelled by boat from Fethiye harbour to each bay in turn. Lunch and refreshments were generously provided by the owners of the privately run (and beautiful clean) Kuleli Bay.
Just from these two beaches, the hard-working teams collected almost 90 bags of rubbish, each weighing three kilos. The litter was mostly food containers, plastic and glass bottles, plastic bags, dirty nappies, wet wipes, and newspapers. It had been planned for Fethiye Municipality to send a truck and helper to take away the rubbish.
It may seem unbelievable but Buyuk Boncuklu Bay, which was the focus of another beach clean up in May [and presumably some official ones since then?] had so much garbage strewn across it a bulldozer had to come onto the beach and scoop it up, there was too much for the team to handle.
What a shame
A couple of Turkish holiday makers having a picnic on the beach came over to help. They said:
What a shame. We are disgusted that people could have such disregard for a beautiful place and turn it into such a mess.
We can only thank the people from TUI and TURMEPA for all their hard work cleaning these two beaches but perhaps the only solution is to organize more clean-ups and long term strategies until beach users learn to take their rubbish home with them. Come on people, any ideas?