The 14-kilometer coastline in the Samandağ district of eastern Turkey’s Hatay has started hosting green sea turtles and caretta carettas as their nesting season approaches.
After laying their eggs on the sandy beach, the turtles return to the sea. The turtles start coming in to lay their eggs at night and continue until early in the morning, while volunteers keep a close eye on their safety.
“Samandağ beaches, which are among the longest beaches in Turkey, are home to endangered Caretta Caretta and green sea turtles (Chelonia Mydas) which are in danger of becoming extinct," Mişel Atik, head of an environmental group said.
"Our Association has been carrying out work to monitor sea turtles and protect the area with the collaboration of the seventh Regional Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks for about 10 years,” they added.
“Like every year, this year too, sea turtles are coming ashore in Hatay to lay their eggs.”
“Now, the number of nests has reached 1,000. This is a remarkable number for this time of year, compared to previous seasons. I hope we will break a record in the number of nests. Last year, we had nearly 1,500 nests. I hope there will be more this season,” Atik said.
“The coastline is about 14 kilometers long, we identify and protect the turtles’ nests where they lay eggs at night. We are also working to raise public awareness in the region,” said Emre Sandık, a local volunteer.