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Turkey eyes top place in number of Blue Flag beaches

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In 2014, Turkey ranks third after Spain and Greece in number of beaches boasting prestigious eco-label.

Turkey is aiming to be the world leader in the number of Blue Flag beaches as part of its 2023 targets to mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic, said Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Thursday.

“Blue Flag” is an exclusive eco-label awarded by the NGO Foundation for Environmental Education, or FEE, to beaches and marinas that meet certain criteria such as water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety.

“We are ranked third in the world after Spain and Greece, regarding best protected beaches,” he said at a mass inauguration ceremony of environment and infrastructure projects, worth some 500 million Turkish liras ($193 million), by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization at Ankara’s ATO Congresium.

According to the 2014 list, Turkey is third, with its 383 beaches and 21 marinas awarded the blue flag, from a total of 70 countries. Spain tops the list with 573 beaches and Greece comes in second with 407.

The prime minister also pointed other important developments environment-wise during the 13-year Justice and Development, or AK, Party rule.

Davutoglu said they had planted 3.5 billion trees, i.e. 4 million hectares of forests.

He said the number of solid waste storage facilities had gone from 15 in 2003 to 79 in 2014.

“We increased the number of waste water treatment facilities six-fold in 13 years,” he added.

Across the country, Turkey now has a total of 186 air quality control stations, as Davutoglu stated, adding that they wanted to increase the number to 330 by 2023.

Resource: Türkiye, April 11, 2015

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