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Turkey - Positive Changes Afoot for New Grey Water Regulations

By Sue Richards last modified Mar 17, 2010 12:17 PM

Published: 2010-03-17 12:17:07
Topics: Environment
Countries: Turkey

Blue Card regulations in Mugla, Turkey and Restrictions in Gocek-Dalaman bays

Hello noonsite,

Forwarding "news but no news" to keep you in the picture. I think you can say that positive changes to the regulations are anticipated, grey water will not be an issue (in 2010 at any rate) and further clarification is likely soon.

There was a meeting held in Mugla on 17th February to discuss the proposed Blue Card scheme, due to be introduced on 1st March 2010. 80 people attended, including the Mugla Governor and his deputy, the General Manager of TURMEPA and the presidents of the Chamber of Shipping branches at Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye and Antalya.

There were no specific decisions taken, and no official announcement from the meeting, but an account has been received from some of those who attended.

There is general support amongst the organisations to improve and control the environmental impact of boats using Turkish waters, and therefore it is planned to proceed with the implementation of the Blue Card Scheme in some form. Particular emphasis was placed on controls within Gocek-Dalaman bays (in practice Skopea Limani and offlying islands).

The practical issues relating to the application of the regulations have however been recognised, and the authorities' approach is changing. The subjects discussed included:
- the impossibility of collecting grey water in smaller displacement yachts
- the cost of the Blue Card, and the need for free or very low cost pump out services to encourage pumping out.

It is likely that there will be concessions for smaller vessels, and there will certainly be no attempt to enforce grey water collection in 2010. The introduction of the Blue Card may be modified or delayed.

A further meeting is now planned at Ministerial level in Ankara on 22nd February after which there will be further consultations with industry representatives before any announcement is made.

However, people can now plan to visit Mugla in 2010 with reasonable confidence that there will not be any major additional regulatory burden.

John and Mo Walker
Yacht Fuga

Our thanks to John and Mo for sending this update to noonsite. See their excellent website for further details on the Blue Card scheme and Gocek Restrictions.

Further Comment received from Atila Alada, of Turkish yacht charter company Offshore Sailing, received 6 February 2010.

Your message about the new regulations in South Eastern of Turkey and the explanation sent by TURMEPA do not reflect the reality. The issue was raised by the Mugla Directorate last year and Göçek bay was choosen as a pilot due to its sensible ecological structure. Later, the Directorate has announced that the scheme was to be applied in all the coast from Bodrum to Fethiye, that are controlled by Mugla Directorate.

The scheme is clearly not applicable for many reasons.

  • To start with, neither TURMEPA nor Mugla Directorate has no right to enforce such regulation. According to maritime legislation in Turkey, all activies related to sea, ships, sailing boats of any kind and all other maritime activites are regulated by the Underministery of Maritime. This is defined by law and the Directorate can not overrule it.
  • Currently, there is not even a single pump out facility in the area and it is very unlikely that we will have 30-50 built in a year or so.
  • The regulation should be consistent and be supported with international maritime regulations as well as with the regulations elswhere in Turkish coast.
  • The technical requirements imposed for the boats, is not possible to comply with. Anyone who has a minimum understanding of sailing boat and its plumbing system can realise this. There is not a single boat that can meet the required standards. (I am referring to standard sailing boats up to 55 ft).
  • Currently, there is a big and ongoing debate in Turkey on this matter and even within Turmepa itself. Harbour managers which are reporting to Undersecratary of Maritime (and not to Bodrum Directorate..) are not taking any action.

All in all, there is nothing prohibitive and we urge all our sailor friends to discover and enjoy these exceptional coasts w/out any worry at all.

All the best and happy sailing..

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