Blue Flag is a highly respected and recognized international eco-label. Blue Flags are awarded to beaches and marinas that meet strict criteria for water quality, education, environmental management, safety and services. Turkey has 397 beaches, 22 marinas and 12 boats in total that qualified for the Blue Flag.
Blue Flag Standards
The Blue Flag program requires that beaches achieve excellent bathing water quality. Blue Flag beaches undergo regular water quality sampling measured against national standards and legislation.
Dedicated beach management committees are set up at Blue Flag sites to conduct environmental audits of the site and its facilities. The committee is also responsible for ensuring that beach habitat is protected and managed sustainably.
Educational activities that promote sustainability are an important part of the Blue Flag program. Environmental education activities can range from educational signage to training workshops for municipal staff.
Safety and Services
Blue Flag sites are required to be safe and accessible for all ages and for people with disabilities. Lifeguards or lifesaving and first aid equipment must also be available at the Blue Flag beach. Emergency and safety measures must be in place to protect the users of the Blue Flag site.
Blue Flag Beach Criteria
Environmental Education And Information
1. Information about the Blue Flag programme must be displayed.
2. Environmental education activities must be offered and promoted to beach users.
3. Information about bathing water quality must be displayed.
4. Information relating to local eco-systems and environmental phenomena must be displayed.
5. A map of the beach indicating different facilities must be displayed.
6. A code of conduct that reflects appropriate laws governing the use of the beach and surrounding areas must be displayed.
7. The beach must fully comply with the water quality sampling and frequency requirements.
8. The beach must fully comply with the standards and requirements for water quality analysis.
9. No industrial, waste-water or sewage-related discharges should affect the beach area.
10. The beach must fully comply with the Blue Flag requirements for the microbiological parameter faecal colibacteria (E.coli) and faecal enterococci/streptococci.
11. The beach must fully comply with the Blue Flag requirements for the following physical-chemical parameters.
12. The local authority/beach operator should establish a beach management committee.
13. The local authority/beach operator must comply with all regulations affecting the location and operation of the beach.
14. The beach must be clean.
15. Algae vegetation or natural debris should be left on the beach.
16. Waste disposal bins/containers must be available at the beach in adequate numbers and they must be regularly maintained.
17. Facilities for the separation of recyclable waste materials should be available at the beach.
18. An adequate number of toilet or restroom facilities must be provided.
19. The toilet or restroom facilities must be kept clean.
20. The toilet or restroom facilities must have controlled sewage disposal.
21. On the beach there will be no unauthorised camping or driving and no dumping.
22. Access to the beach by dogs and other domestic animals must be strictly controlled.
23. All buildings and beach equipment must be properly maintained.
24. Coral reefs in the vicinity of the beach must be monitored (where applicable).
25. A sustainable means of transportation should be promoted in the beach area.
Safety And Services
26. An adequate number of lifeguards and/or lifesaving equipment must be available at the beach.
27. First aid equipment must be available on the beach.
28. Emergency plans to cope with pollution risks must be in place.
29. There must be management of different users and uses of the beach so as to prevent conflicts and accidents.
30. There must be safety measures in place to protect users of the beach.
31. A supply of drinking water should be available at the beach.
32. At least one Blue Flag beach in each municipality must have access and facilities provided for the physically disabled.
Blue flag beach criteria are updated to keep abreast of new scientific findings, legislation, and generally to keep the campaign participants striving for ever better environmental quality. A few of the issues covered in the criteria include cleanliness, provisions for waste and recycling, zoning of activities, and environmental education activities for a variety of people.