Türkİye, Culture, Europe

Türkiye retains 3rd place globally for Blue Flag beaches, aiming for top spot

Spain holds top spot for most Blue Flag beaches this year, followed by Greece in second place

Yasemin Kayoncuoglu  | 23.05.2024 - Update : 23.05.2024
Türkiye retains 3rd place globally for Blue Flag beaches, aiming for top spot


Türkiye has retained its third-place ranking for Blue Flag beaches this year, with 567 of its beaches listed in this category, according to the country's Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy.

In a post on X, Ersoy said the country's consistent success in the Blue Flag awards is a source of pride and that they are determined to achieve the top ranking.

The Blue Flag awards, a title given to beaches that are clean and safe, are presented by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Ersoy said the government has consistently worked to increase the number of Blue Flag beaches every year, with 16 more beaches in Türkiye receiving the designation this year.

"Blue Flags suit our beaches very well. This year, 567 beaches, 27 marinas, 18 tourism boats, and nine individual yachts in our country have been awarded the Blue Flag," he said.

Spain holds the top spot for the most Blue Flag beaches this year, followed by Greece in second place. Türkiye ranks third, with Italy in fourth and France in fifth.

Antalya tops Blue Flag list

This year, Türkiye has added three beaches each in Istanbul, Balikesir, and Aydın provinces; two each in Antalya and Mugla provinces; and one each in Izmir, Canakkale, Tekirdag, Bursa, Kirklareli, and Yalova provinces to its Blue Flag beaches list.

The increase of 16 Blue Flag beaches comes despite the absence of beaches from Sakarya, Duzce, and Edirne, which were on the list last year.

Turkey had 551 Blue Flag beaches last year, with the number remaining unchanged in provinces such as Samsun, Mersin, Kocaeli, Bartın, Ordu, Zonguldak, and Van.

Antalya, with 233 Blue Flag beaches, is Türkiye's leading province, followed by Mugla with 112 beaches and Izmir with 64.

The Blue Flag program in Türkiye began in 1993 following the European Union's designation of 1987 as the Year of the Environment. The program aims to protect public health and continue these efforts through environmental education and awareness activities.

Blue Flag beaches are evaluated based on 33 criteria, marinas on 38, tourism boats on 51, and individual yachts on four criteria and 16 behavior rules.

These include regular water quality analysis, appropriate wastewater treatment, protection of sensitive natural areas, availability of lifeguards and first aid equipment, emergency plans, facilities for the disabled, waste separation, and environmental education and information.

Marinas and tourism boats are also assessed based on corporate social responsibility and public engagement.

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