Two beaches in Karasu district of the northwestern Turkish province of Sakarya have been awarded the blue flag tag — an international label denoting high standards of cleanliness, pristine waters and other parameters.
Ekrem Yüce, the metropolitan municipality mayor of Sakarya, told Anadolu Agency that he will now try to get blue flag certificate for Kocaali and Kaynarca beaches as well.
"Necessary steps will be taken to get the international certification," he said.
Yüce said that while Karasu on the Black Sea coast is already a popular tourist destination, he hopes that the certification will help further increase the traffic of visitors.
Besides pristine waters and cleanliness along the shores, Yüce said other criteria helped the two beaches to get the tag, included presence of life guard teams, disabled friendly facilities and environmentally friendly measures.
The mayor said that nearly 90% of the Karasu population consists of non-local vacationers during the summer, because of its proximity to the metropolitan cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Bursa.
The blue flag certification is an internationally recognized voluntary eco-label awarded to beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators. In order to qualify for the tag, the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) — an independent non-profit organization — has set up 33 stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria.