Turkey continues its march to the top of the list of the cleanest beaches in the world. The number of Blue Flag beaches, which is increasing every year thanks to environmental investments, reached 519 in 2021. This puts Turkey third globally for its number of Blue Flag beaches, which are also indicators of clean seas, the country's minister of environment and urbanization said Thursday.
The Blue Flag is one of the world's most recognized voluntary awards for beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.
As of 2021, Turkey has a total of 519 Blue Flag beaches. The country also saw 22 of its marinas, six yachts and 10 sustainable tourism boats honored with the Blue Flag label for 2021.
In the worldwide list where Turkey ranked third among 49 countries, Spain takes top honors with 615 beaches, followed by Greece with 545 beaches.
This year 33 more Turkish beaches were awarded the Blue Flag by the Danish nonprofit organization. Most of the newly awarded beaches are located on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.
Turkey's Minister of Environment and Urbanization, Murat Kurum, explained via Twitter the efforts Turkey is making to protect nature. In his tweet, he mentioned that they are working nonstop to provide a clean habitat for every creature living around the beaches.
"We have collected 85,000 tons of marine litter with Zero Waste Blue. With our 163 waste reception facilities, we make sure all ships' waste is safely removed. We follow the vessels 24/7 with our waste tracking systems. We immediately respond to possible pollution and accidents from 364 coastal facilities," he said.
Turkey aims to rank first in the Blue Flag list in 2023.
"Today, we are proud to be rewarded for all these efforts once again. Our country came third in the world in 2021 with 519 Blue Flag beaches. Our goal for 2023 is to be the world champion," the Turkish minister added.