Turkey: New Rules for Cruising Yachts in the Mugla Area (Bodrum to Fethiye)

Published 14 years ago, updated 6 years ago

Posted 11/11/2009

There has been much talk of late on the yachting forums about new regulations coming into force in Turkey regarding black and grey water discharge. It seems this is indeed happening under what is termed a “Blue Card Scheme” and an explanation about what this involves has been sent to noonsite by Levent Ballar, General Manager of the Turkish Marine Environment Protection Association (TURMEPA) who are implementing the scheme. Details are as follows:

From 1 March 2010 in the Gocek Dalaman Area:

  • This area will be announced as a sea park like similar ones in Italy.

– Discharge of black and grey water is forbidden in this area (therefore a holding tank for all wastewater is essential).

– All boats must have a Blue Card (see below).

– Other than the marinas only 1112 boats can stay in this area.

– Entering some historical areas (like Hamam Bay) is prohibited.

– Anchoring in some areas is prohibited to protect the ecological underwater system. Only dedicated mooring buoys should be used.

– Maximum mooring period for boats in Gocek-Dalaman Coves is limited to 11 days.

– Speed limit is maximum 6 knots.

– Disturbing music is prohibited.

– Cooking on deck is prohibited.

– Diving in some coves is also prohibited.

Blue Card

All yachts, commercial and private, of all sizes, must comply with the Blue Card scheme in the Mugla area (that is from Bodrum to Fethiye). There is no lower limit in size or capacity given. Discharge of wastewater is forbidden in this area. Wastewater is defined as; black water, bilge water, ballast water, and sludge.

The issuing and delivery of the Blue Cards to boats will be performed by the Port Authorities and the Marinas. All yachts will have to purchase a Blue Card (70tl for life) in order to present it when pumping out. The Blue Card will record the date and volume pumped out.

Only Black Tanks are required for smaller yachts but the grey water must be put into the black tank, and hence pumped out. Foreign flagged boats, however, will not be checked by the authorities as to whether they have a tank or not. Turkish flagged boats are checked annually in order to receive their sailing certificate. Upon inspection of a foreign flagged boat, authorities will only ask to see the Blue Card and will check to see legal waste disposal has been made. If the boat has been sailing for a period of time and there is no discharge recorded, there will be a penalty charged.

Pump Out Facilities

There are 30 pump-out facilities in the Bodrum to Fethiye area in which the scheme is being initiated. Current pump out facilities are listed on the TURMEPA website [BROKEN LINK]. By March 2010 it is intended there will be around 120 pumping out facilities in the area. All marinas will have to have waste acceptance facilities. For each ton of waste, the waste acceptance facilities will charge 30 Euros.

Pump Out Facility Co-ordinates received 4 February 2010 from TURMEPA. Note: the list does not cover all existing points as some of the municipalities or marinas could not specify their coordinates. The Directorate is currently working on identifying and gathering all co-ordinates data.

Marmaris Port Authority (Cruise Port)- 28° 16′ 45.2″ E – 36° 50′ 57 N (Tel: 0252 412 03 03)

Güllük Port Authority MİLAS – 37° 15′ 3″ N – 27° 36′ 3″ E (Tel: 0252 522 40 35)

Ecesaray Yacht Marina FETHİYE 36° 37′ 55″ N – 29° 06′ 10″ E (Tel: 0252 612 88 29)

Marin Türk Yacht Marina Göcek FETHİYE 28º 56′ 00″ E – 36º 45′ 15″ N (Tel: 0252 645 22 29)

Port Göcek Yacht Marina Göcek FETHİYE 36°44′.9″ N – 28°56′.6″ E (Tel: 0252 645 15 20)

Club Marina Yacht Marina Göcek FETHİYE 36° 45′ 00″ N – 28° 55′ 05″ E (Tel: 0252 645 18 00)

Yat Marin Yacht Marina Yalancıboğaz MARMARİS 36° 49′ N – 28° 18′ E (Tel: 0252 422 00 94)

Albatros Yacht Marina MARMARİS 36° 50′ N – 28° 17′ W (Tel: 0252 412 07 52)

Netsel Yacht Marina MARMARİS 36° 51′ 02″ N – 28° 16′ 38″ E (Tel: 0252 412 27 08)

Martı Marina Orhaniye MARMARİS 36° 45′ 30″ N – 28° 08′ 30″ E (Tel: 0252 487 10 63)

Milta Yacht Marina BODRUM 37° 02′ 00″ N – 27° 25′ 50″ E (Tel: 0252 316 18 60)

D-Marin Yacht Marina Turgutreis BODRUM 36° 59′ 59″ N – 27° 15′ 21″ E (Tel: 0252 382 92 00)

Port Yalıkavak Yacht Marina BODRUM 37° 06′ 20″ N – 27° 17′ 02″ E (Tel: 0252 311 06 00)


Not only the Coast Guard but Mugla Directorates boats will be policing the system. The penalties are not announced yet. This system is fully supported by the Government.

For the time being this is a pilot project for the Mugla Area. The authorities have the intention to implement it to all Turkish Waters, but not for at least 5 years.

The system starts on 1.3.2010.

(Editors Note): There are clearly many “what if’” questions and undoubtedly there are still a few problems to iron out for the scheme to function smoothly. In Turkey, all floating objects are labelled “ships”, from Supertankers and cruise liners down to small cruising yachts and fishing boats, and the regulations have not as yet been modified for the different sizes and uses of vessels. Many are of the opinion that this scheme will take years to implement, however, boats have historically been fined quite drastically for minor transgressions and it is therefore wise for yachts to comply as best they can whilst sailing in these waters.

As one forum user says, “We can’t all go on complaining about how mucky our favourite cruising ground, “the Med” is getting, without at least considering that by being there, we too are contributing to this mess, even if on a small scale… think globally, act locally and get the tanks fitted… just as long as there is somewhere to have them pumped out.”

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