With 519 Blue Flag beaches, Turkey ranks third globally

Konyaalti Antalya

Turkey is continuing its charge to the top of the global rankings for the cleanest beaches in the world. The number of Blue Flag beaches reached 519 in 2021, and these Blue Flag beaches are increasing in number each year thanks to the Turkish environmental investments. 519 beaches sees Turkey rank third globally, which is also an indicator of clean seas, the Minister of Environment and Urbanisation announced on Thursday.

One of the world’s most recognisable voluntary awards, the Blue Flag can be awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators. To qualify for the Blue Flag status, there is a stringent criteria of environmental, educational, safety and accessibility that must be met and then maintained.

More Blue Flags in 2021

As of 2021, there were a total of 519 Blue Flag beaches in Turkey. Along with this, 2021 saw 22 marinas, 6 yachts and 10 sustainable tourism boats, honoured with the label of Blue Flag. In the world ranking list, Turkey took the third spot, with Greece taking second with 545 beaches and Spain taking top spot with a total of 615 beaches.

2021 saw, in addition to the beaches already recognised, 33 more Turkish beaches awarded the Blue Flag label by the Danish not-for-profit organisation. Those awarded Blue Flag status in 2021 were primarily located in the Aegean or the Mediterranean coasts of Turkey.

What Turkey is doing to help

The Minister of Environment and Urbanisation, Murat Kurum, explained the efforts Turkey was making in order to protect nature and the environment over Twitter. In his tweet, he explained that Turkey was working nonstop to make sure that they could provide a clean habitat for every single creature living around the beaches of Turkey.

Kurum explained: “We have collected 85,000 tons of marine litter with Zero Waste Blue. With our 163 waste reception facilities, we make sure all ship waste is safely removed. We follow the vessels 24/7 with our waste tracking systems. We immediately respond to possible pollution and accidents from 364 coastal facilities.”

Big goals for Blue Flags in Turkey

Turkey is aiming to be ranked first in the Blue Flag worldwide list by 2023. Kurum added: “Today, we are proud to be rewarded for all the efforts once again. Our country came third in the world in 2021 with 519 Blue Flag beaches. Our goal for 2023 is to be world champion.”


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