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Environmental Fines In Turkey Being Applied To Yachts

By doina — last modified Nov 21, 2005 12:36 PM

Published: 2005-11-21 12:36:59
Countries: Turkey

We are in Marmaris Turkey and have been fined 7000. ytl for discharging gray water(washing dishes) there is no difference between a 19 ton or 1000 ton ship for fines and no regulation issued with the transit log warning you. The fine for 18 ton 469. ytl. We have been sailing Turkey for while and this was the first we heard. We were also the only foreign flagged boat in the anchorage. Has any one else had this problem?

Fresh Start Two, [email protected]

Noonsite received the following information from Yusuf Civelekoglu in Bodrum

The Turkish Ministry for Environment and Forestry has announced a new "Table of Fines" for environmental pollution. According to this table fines for environmental pollution have been substantially reduced against former years. As of 1.6.2005, up to 18 GRT ships polluting the seas can be fined up to approx. Euro 268,00 and 18 GRT - 1000 GRT ships (non-tankers) can be fined up to approx. Euro 4.470,00. This is a 90% reduction (!) on fines and is relieving for many yacht owners, particularly for yachts above the 18 GRT mark. We understand that this development is in harmonization to the new Turkish Penal Code Nr. 5237 adopted earlier this year. Repeated offenders will be fined double. The Turkish text can be read at

I heard about the above case and I believe it is an isolated case, although there is some rumour going around that tankage will be inspected etc. If so, I still have to see the regulation which goes with it. See below. 7000 YTL are about Euros 4,000 and within the limits for yachts above 18 GRT. The same offence could have been fined about ten times more in the past! For yachts under 18 GRT the fine ceiling is about Euros 500.

For those who have a command of German: On the pages starting with I had put together all relevant regulatory texts etc. and yachtspeople could find all what goes with it there. Perhaps I should translate it all also into English. It is quite a bit.

In summary: Administering a fine based on pollution requires hard evidence: Samples, images, films. The samples have to be collected in standardized containers and sealed under witness. The analysis has to be carried out in a "standard laboratory" and show evidence of pollution. The offensee has a seven days period as of the protocol to file objection at the administrative court. Such an objection can lead to a reevaluation of the administration's (coastguard's) opinion.

It is of interest, that I could not find any regulations concerning size and type of holding tanks. I also cannot find in the regulations any distinction between "black" and "gray" water and bilgewater. The fine can be administered upon pollution, however, the regulations do not set a lower limit to the pollution. The claimed pollution must be sufficient to fill the "standard containers" - not always easy. The administration is obliged to provide proof and a witness is NOT sufficient.

As usual with such cases, considering also the language barriers involved, it is hard to give a clearer opinion without reading the protocol and the receipt of the fine which has to precise which rule of which regulation has been offended.

I will keep you posted.

Yusuf Civelekoglu, yachtWORKS, Bodrum