There are nine major threats to the unmatched natural beauty and wildlife population of Muğla’s Marmaris district, environmentalists say, calling on authorities to take action.
In Marmaris, which attracts more than 1 million tourists annually, the Environment Volunteers, a 200-member organization, recently published a written notice, "That’s enough. Do not let Marmaris fade away," addressing Muğla citizens and Muğla's six parliamentary members. Stating Marmaris’s nature, agriculture, animal husbandry, wildlife population and sustainable tourism is in danger, environmentalists ask authorities to collaborate on solving current problems, as quickly as possible.
The environmentalists also state they will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if the "Special Forestation Project," is not cancelled or if a decision is made to expand the local port. The Special Forestation Project allows areas not defined as forest to be leased to individuals and allows mining research in an area covering 52 percent of the district.
"We have serious concerns about Marmaris being destroyed in the near future if necessary precautions which ensure the protection of the sea, air and forest, are not taken as soon as possible," said Filiz Ersan, chairman of Marmaris Environment Volunteers. "We ask authorities, especially the Prime Minister, to take necessary steps to save the future of Marmaris and the future of our country."
Currently, 41 firms have certificates that allow them to conduct miningresearch across 52 percent of the Marmaris region. Environmentalists say these certificates should be cancelled as soon as possible.
Safari customers are contaminating safari routes. Dust clouds caused by jeeps in the area cover flora in dust. Safari customers who smoke are increasing the risk of forest fires.
There are plans to extend the port of Marmaris. If the Culture and Tourism Ministry approves the project, it will enclose a large area of sea, making the Bay harder to clean.
Marmaris is noisier than many big cities in Turkey during summer months. Noise caused by restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues in residential areas should be lessened.
The lack of a proper construction plan over many years has led to illegal settlement in the town, especially in protected areas. The problem should also be solved soon.
The waste contamination cannot be avoided as there is a lack of necessary technology, but pollution watch-stations should be formed to prevent further
contamination of the sea.
The town includes fodder, or grassland, that can easily cause forest fires. Those who do not clean up grassland on their property should be penalized, argue envinonmentalists.