Turkey’s location between three continents means it hosts a wide variety of habitats and great diversity of wildlife. The Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey hosts numerous loggerhead and green sea turtle breeding beaches. At sea, turtles can be found along the entire Mediterranean coast of Turkey, but there is limited information on marine habitats used for overwintering, mating and feeding (e.g. Gulf of İskenderun, Yumurtalik Bay and Cukurova area) and the impact of fishing in these areas on the sea turtle populations. Leatherbacks have been occasionally reported by fishermen or found dead on Turkish shores.
Since 1988, MEDASSET monitors the situation on these nesting beaches, has published reports, highlighted threats, and made recommendations to conserve these habitats. Our advocacy work in Turkey has especially focused on green turtle habitats, as Turkey hosts the largest nesting population of the species in the Mediterranean. Numerous threats have been identified and have included major tourist developments, disturbance, pollution, sand extraction and erosion. Through our campaigns, there have been several improvements; however human activities along the Turkish coastline still lead to habitat loss and decline of nesting. We invite you to continue reading about our ongoing activities to safeguard Fethiye, Patara, Kazanli, Dalaman and Dalyan. In our publications section you can find our past reports regarding Akyatan, Gőksu Delta, Sugözü, Samandağ and Belek.
Turkey is also home to Europe’s only known populations of the Nile soft shelled turtle Trionyx triunguis, and in response to its endangered status and protection needs, we have also implemented several scientific surveys and promoted its conservation.