TRANSBOUNDARY WATER RESOURCES IN THE BALKANS, Nato Science Series 2nd Environmental Security Vol 74, 2000 – Coastal Zone Management Applications In Turkey

Not: Figürlerin, Tabloların ve Formüllerin daha yüksek çözünürlüklü görüntüleri için görsele sağ tıklayıp “resmi yeni sekmede aç” seçeneğini seçiniz


Nato Science Series,, 2nd Environmental Security-Vol. 74, 2000

Coastal Zone Management Applications In Turkey


ITU, İstanbul Technical University, Faculty of Civil Engineering, 80626, Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey


9 Eylul University, Institute of Marine Sciences Urla- Izmir, Turkey

1. Introduction

Coastal zone management and protection are of utmost importance for countries with coastlines, primarily due to their significant tourism activities. Coastal zones are threatened by pollution from two types of sources, point and non-point. Point source pollution is from domestic and industrial waste, with the former producing a much greater volume during the summer tourist high season. Non-point sources come from agricultural activities, marine transportation, atmospheric deposition, urban run-off, and so forth. Coastal areas are important – 90 % of all the countries in the world are coastal countries with 40 % of the world’s population living there. If one defines a coastal zone as a 50 m wide strip of coastline, 50 % of the world’s population is settled there [1, 2].

Turkey is surrounded by coastal seas on three sides and has approximately 8,300 km of coastline, which is among the longer coastlines in Europe. Half of its population of 65 million lives in the coastal cities, districts and villages, although the coastal area covers only 29 % of the total surface area of the country. These coastal areas are of great national and international significance and attraction, and it is extremely important that their use be carefully planned and measures taken to protect them from deterioration.

The Aegean and the Mediterranean coasts experience large numbers of domestic and foreign tourists during the six-months’ summer season. The rapid growth in tourism has led to a number of environmental problems. The fundamental cause of coastal pollution in the country is an insufficient and improper treatment infrastructure, together with unplanned urbanisation. Coastal development is mainly concentrated from the Canakkale-Balikesir provincial boundary in the north along the Aegean Sea to the Antalya-Mersin provincial boundary in the south along the Mediterranean Sea. Data show that of all certified beds, 27% are in the Aegean region, 25% in the Mediterranean region, and 21% in the Marmara region. Investments in summer (vacation) houses are also concentrated in these same areas, [3]. In the coastal municipalities of Balikesir Izmir, Aydin, Mugla and Antalya, 32% of land is devoted to vacation houses and 14% has been designated as touristic areas.

The most significant environmental problems in these heavily impacted coastal areas are an improper and insufficient infrastructure for protecting the drinking water supply and for wastewater collection and disposal. For example, only 60% of tourist settlements receive adequate drinking water, 76% have no sewerage and another 13 % have limited sanitation. Only 5% of these settlements are satisfactorily served with both drinking water and sewage facilities. According to the 1990 census, population density in coastal provinces averaged around 127 people/ km2 compared to 73 people/ km2 nationally [4]. An estimated 70%- 80% of all industrial output is also generated in these coastal provinces. Pollution loads have further accelerated through the construction of marinas along the coasts. From time to time, the faecal coliform counts appear to be above the limits in Akcay, Cesme and Kusadasi. 69% of land not used for tourism is fertile and mostly of the highest quality (Class I and II). Simply put, coastal activities have started to destroy the natural landscape and create aesthetic and other kinds of pollution in many areas. Therefore, in order to control the conflicting requirements of use, protection, and enhancement in a balanced fashion, coastal management plans are essential.

Studies have been conducted on coastal zone management since the 1980s and their results support the subject matter of this paper. Four additional case studies are introduced. The first is a marine discharge system that has been in operation since 1990 at Marmaris. The second, Cirali-Belek, is a general study of coastal zone management and tourism. The third is a case study concerning economic activity that presents a new approach through airborne video-graphs of the Aegean Region of Turkey. The last is an international pilot project on the development of a computer-based coastal information system for the Turkish Mediterranean coasts, which integrates satellite and ground data.

2. Management of Turkey’s Coastal Zone


The need for sewage collection and treatment facilities was recognised prior to 1980. The Bank of Provinces (Iller Bank) proposed that the most appropriate and economic treatment could be provided by the construction of sewerage systems followed by marine discharge systems. In order to install such systems, especially in coastal areas, State Universities with relevant backgrounds and expertise in the subject area were assigned the feasibility surveys and design of these systems. One of the case studies mentioned in this paper, the Marmaris example, describes one of the completed projects designed by a State University. The first attempt in coastal management in Turkey dates back to the 1980s. During the 1980s the urban population began to increase while rural population showed a tendency to decrease. In particular, migration from the eastern part of the country towards the western and southern coastal areas brought about many environmental problems. Government authorities responded with environmental protection programs.

The first two important projects were begun along the Mediterranean coast of the country. Kerner and its surroundings in the southern part of Turkey has been designated a ‘Special Tourist Region’ and the nearby Side region has been selected as a ‘Special Tourism Planning Area.’ The World Bank supports both of these separate projects, and they are supervised by The Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Turkey The main targets of the projects are to deal with sewage collection systems and the construction of wastewater treatment plants. Another project, begun at the same time in the Cukurova region, is sponsored by the Bank of Provinces (Iller Bank), and investigates in detail the environmental problems of the region extending from Mersin to Iskenderun

One of the most important projects realised in Turkey on coastal zone management is the Southern Anatolia Environmental Project (GAC) of the Ministry of Tourism, which is supported by the World Bank. In this project, the fundamental environmental problems of the coastline from south of Canakkale to the east of Alanya, covering a distance of approximately 2,000 km, were investigated with respect to tourism, agricultural activities, sauce-demographic structure, hydrogeologic structure, receiving water quality, natural beauty, technical infrastructure, current legislation and laws, and financial conditions. Alternative solutions were offered and recommendations made using a master plan approach.

The region from Mersin to Iskenderun was previously investigated within the framework of the Cukurova Project. According to the final report of the GAC project, only 9% of the total population in the project area lived in areas with sewers, 13 municipalities had old and/or new sewage collection systems and only three of these municipalities had wastewater treatment plants[5]. Wastewater treatment plants were under construction in 15 municipalities. The rest of the municipalities had no such ongoing projects. Only in five districts were faecal coliform counts over the accepted limits for swimming and water sports.


A second important project in coastal zone management in Turkey was planned in the 1990s under the name `ATAK’ — Mediterranean- Aegean Regions Tourism Infrastructure Project for Coastal Management. The project was to deal with drinking water supply, sewage collection systems, wastewater treatment and disposal alternatives, solid waste collection, recycling and disposal, design and construction facilities, and financial and administrative studies. It was planned that these studies should be conducted in 25 watershed areas covering approximately 100 residential areas, as shown in Figure 1. However, the main idea was to overcome present insufficiencies in wastewater removal, and thus to remove health risks in coastal areas of touristic significance and supply blue flags to almost all beaches and marinas.

The infrastructure requirements of all the selected residential areas were determined in stages for 1988, 2005 and 2020. Ten watershed areas were chosen as high priority. Based on the findings of the feasibility report dated October 1992, the first three high priority areas were Marmaris, Kusadasi/Davutlar and Alanya regions. Within the framework of this project the Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology of the Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir conducted detailed marine surveys to form a data bank for modelling studies.

Figure 1. Settlements within the context of ATAK Projekt

The other high priority areas selected were Edremit, C.estne, Bodnnn, Fabiye, Kerner, and Side. However, Kenner and Side regions had already solved about 90% of their infrastructureproblems, since dry were part of the 1980s programme,

Turkeys second most important coastal metropolitan area following Istanbul is Izmir on the Aegean coast. The major industries of Turkey’s Aegean region are located near this city. The total pollution load to the Izmir Bay from a population of about 10 million is given in detail in the country report [6]. Many projects have beat trying to save Izmir Bay for years_ One such project was approved in 1981 and construction work stated in 1983. At die time, activated sludge treatment was the treatment technology applied to this area The treated effluent was supposed to be finally discharged to die Gediz area for irrigation purposes. However, due to the high costs involved, the Mayor of Izmir authorised some changes to the original treatment scheme of full treatment. Staged lagoons were then anempted. Unfortunately, this project was not approved, as it was not found to be feasible.

There are nearly 3,000 numicipalities in the whole country of which 16 are Metropolitan Municipalities [5]. From 1980 on, changes in laws have made die mtmicipalities financially stronger and more powerfuL Thus, many of die municipalities, especially the Greater Metropolitan, have started to solve their wastewater treatment and disposal problems beyond water supply activities. Apart from the municipalities, other related authorities like the Ministry of the Environment (established in 1991) and its related department of Special Environmental Protection, the likinistry of Public Affairs and its related authority die Bank of Provinces, the State Water Works Administration under the Ministry of Energy, die Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Ministry of Agticukurc and Village Affairs all supply technical and financial support to realise die MISirtial0/1, opaanon and control of the so-called systems.


The following data were obtained from the Bank of Provinces in 199$ to summarise the previous efforts at improving the situation in the regions under the ATAK project, The total population of the residential areas within the ATAK project is 8,291,143, of which 28% had modern sewage systems. Twelve of the coastal districts have marine discharge systems_ Only one has a wastewater treatment plant. Due to financial constrains, the districts that have completed their sewage collection systems prefer deep-seas °add’ design for final removal of their wastewater. Bothum’s treatment system is nearing completion, Burbaniye’s project is finished and the projects of Edremit, Anamur, Alacati, Ce&ne, Urfa, Dacca and Turgutreis are on the way, [7]. Aliaga Refmay and other important industries have their own individual treatment plants along the Aegean coast. Mersin Atac Refinery, Iskenderun Iron and Steel Manufacturing Plans and Other industries along the Mersin and Adana coast in the Mediterranean region also have their own wastewater treatment facilities. The present situation of wastewater treatment plants along Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts [7] is shown in Tables 1 and 2 respectively.

TABLE I. Wastewater treatment and discharge applications along the Aegean coast

 Biological NumberPopulationSea outfall NumberPopulation
In Service8727 08413301 249
Under Construction6605 5756118 737

TABLE 2. Wastewater treatment and discharge applications along the Mediterranean coast

 Biological NumberPopulationSea outfall NumberPopulation
In Service1118 9762112 787
Under Construction158 104146 295


Owners of skunmerhouses, holiday resorts and other tourist hotels in the districts without sewers are urged to solve their wastewater problems. Some of them have cx/instructed and operate individual treatment plants, while others discharge their wastewater into receiving water without treating it at all. However the majority prefer to collect their wastewater in simple septic tanks.

There are about 3,000 such clusters of summer settlements of which approximately 30,4 have their own wastewater treatment plants. They are generally either extended aeration activated sludge biological treatment plants, or low rate trickling filter systems, biodisc or sea outfall discharge systems using mechanical treatment systems. They are usually constructed as package treatment systems. However, even though these settlements are quite near each other, they have constructed individual plants instead of adopting common plant solutions. Having so many individual plants leads to great losses in investment and operational costs. Furthermore, many of these individual plants are unable to operate properly, and as it is difficult to monitor and control them, their pollution effects on the receiving water environment are still unknown. Common treatment application and sea outfall application should be adopted to lead to better monitoring and control.

Despite these positive developments, environmental issues have not been adequately incorporated into economic and social decisions. The National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) was prepared in 1997-1998. It responds to the need for a strategy and can supplement the existing Development Plan with firm actions to integrate environmental protection and development [3]. The NEAP should be implemented over a 20-year period and comprises only short (5-year) and medium term (10-year).

3. Coastal Zone Management Case Studies


Marmaris is located on the south Aegean coast of the country and is one of the most

important tourist centres. Table 3 shows the projected population of Marmaris according to the ATAK Project.

TABLE 3. Projected population of Marmaris according to ATAK Project

Fixed populationYearPopulation of secondary housesTourist bed capacityTourism service populationTotal summer population
29 37819903 52440 8641 30875 073
45 16019984 06562 593111 818
61 91920054 06588 970139 771
80 77320204 065103 490193 295

Until the 1980s the district did not have sewers. The wastewater was either directly discharged into the sea or collected in septic tanks. It was at this point that the Bank of Provinces began the construction of sewage collection systems where separate systems are preferred. The main collectors were constructed parallel to the seashore with five pump stations to aid collection. The wastewater is discharged into the sea by gravity. The sea outfall design work started in 1982 by the Civil Engineering Faculty of the Dokuz Eylul University. The treatment plant scheme prior to sea outfall consisted of screen and grit chamber units and is shown in Figure 2. It has been proposed to extend the system in the future through biological treatment. The sewage collection system and sea outfall systems have been completed and are in operation [7,8]. The discharge pipeline is made of glass reinforced plastic with a length of 740 m, a diameter of 600 mm. and a diffuser depth of 36.50 m., as shown in Figure 3. The project started in 1985 and construction was completed in 1990. No progress has been achieved on the construction of the biological treatment plant to date. However, eutrophication problems are easily detected at the discharge point and within a diameter of 200 m. Studies performed in the area show that the application of the proposed biological treatment plant would be sufficient to protect the receiving water.

The water quality monitoring studies at Marmaris Bay, following the operation of the sea outfall design, were accomplished at 33 sampling points that tested various parameters such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, total nitrogen, total phosphorous, SiO3, BOD5, chlorophyll-a, temperature, electrical conductivity, turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, total coliform and faecal coliform during the winter, spring and summer seasons of 1993 [8]. Table 4 shows a high total coliform concentration at some locations during the winter of 1993. The sampling points for 1993 monitoring were very close to the shore. Considering the BOD5 and DO concentrations, it can be concluded that the water quality has a slight tendency towards deterioration. These limited data also show that chlorophyll-a concentration, as a parameter of primary production, is phosphorous limited. The N:P ratios indicate that primary production is limited by nitrogen and that there is a relative excess of phosphorus indicating that the shoreline is affected by land based sources of pollutants.

It can be concluded that the minor pollution occurring around the discharge area could be prevented by the construction and operation of the second stage biological treatment plant before marine outfall application.

TABLE 4. Water quality in Mannaris Bay 1993 [8]

Not: Tablonun büyük halini görmek için sağ tıklayıp “Yeni sekmede aç” seçeneğini seçiniz.

Figure 2. Flow diagram of the wastewater treatment plant prior to marine discharge system

Figure 3. Schematic longitudinal and cross-sections of the pipeline


The Cirali / Belek / LIFE TCY96 /TR/ 021 project was started in February 1997 and ends in the year 2000. The European Union (EU) covered the majority (93%) of the total costs and the World’s Wildlife Foundation (WWF) and the National Association of Natural Life Protection (DHKD) contributed the rest. The Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Culture of the Turkish Republic also supported the project by providing specialist help. The project goals were to:

•           Protect the coastal ecosystem including flora and fauna.

•           Educate inhabitants on the importance of environmental protection.

•           Gain public participation in matters regarding the protection of the regional socio-economic structure.

•           Demonstrate environmental balance with the installation of a sustainable development model.

The pilot areas of interest are Antalya / Belek and Olimpos / Cirali. International tourism activities are well established in Belek, whereas in Cirali such activities have only recently started up and are being developed by the local inhabitants. This project will therefore be able to make a comparable environmental evaluation possible. The project is being run by a multidisciplinary team of scientists and experts, including urban planners, economists, sociologists, biologists, lawyers, agricultural engineers, environmental engineers, and computer scientists.

The basic areas of activity covered by the framework of the project are [9]:

•           Developing and applying feasibility plans for environmental protection.

•           Physical planning for Cirali.

•           Management planning for Cirali.

•           Management planning for Belek.

•           Management planning for two reserve areas, Kumkoy and Taslibortm.

•           Preparing a Priority Action Plan for the next five years.

•           Studies on the applicability of current legislation and laws of the Environmental Action Plan based on a Protection-Utilisation balance approach.

•           Maintaining co-ordination between related authorities and establishing rego. nal monitoring associations.

•           Determining natural resource areas and developing management mechanisms for

sustainable utilisation within the concept of improving protection activities,

•           Monitoring the survival of sea turtles through continuous record-keeping and planned control of any negative effects on their lives.

•           Developing sustainable economic activities such as organic agriculture, ea)… tourism, utilisation of natural resources, cultivation of crops important to auy one region etc.

•           Forming environmental socio-economic and ecological monitoring programmes.

So far, technical studies on layout planning for protection purposes, reseatch on ecological background, administrative and organisational structure, socio-economic surveys, and environmental structures have been completed for Cirali together with preliminary surveys on organic agriculture and eco-tourism.


An aerial survey to monitor the global changes in Greater Metropolitan Izmir and its surrounding regions of about 11 000 km2 on a scale of 1/ 25 000 was requested by the Municipality of Izmir, which is situated on Turkey’s Aegean coast This case study was conducted by a group of scientists from the Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology in Iznik. The basic aim of the study was to plan an economical way to undertake air surveys in large regions. The criteria used to select an appropriate digital video-camera included digital image transfer capability and CCD structure of the camera, the pixel capacity of the CCD, whether the camera could be mounted on an aeroplane and whether a wide angle lens could be used without distortion, Saner et al.[10]. A Panasonic EZI camera was found to fulfil the selection criteria.

The study then applied the GPS to the system to meet the requirements of the planned air video-graphs survey. A small hand GPS (Garmin-90) was found to be suitable for the study, which was then connected to a notebook computer running a navigation programme. The HYDRONAV programme was used for this aeroplane survey. The programme served two different purposes. It was used as graphical guidance for the pilot at different zoom levels and also recorded the routes with the time of the predefined frequency. The GPS information and images were combined via the time recordings of HYDRONAV.

The project’s 1600 mosaic images were put together with the help of the constructed software. The goal was to present a general map composed of mosaic images of the area, so that individual images of the area could be produced with the click of a mouse.

All aspects of the system worked well. A small Cessna aeroplane carried out the survey. The study area was divided from north to south into 45 flight lines that Were covered within 35 hours of flight.. Each daily survey took approximately four hours of flight time and the total area was covered in 25 days. The plane flew at a height of 3,000 m during the study and the area covered by each individual image was 3,2 km x 4,8 km 10. Even though only qualitative visual analysis was required, a quantitative analysis using automated computer based techniques was also prepared. A small area of the original study area, Tahtali Dam and reservoir, were chosen to determine the land use and crop pattern quantitatively.

The most significant aspect of this method is its economy, as it allows the acquisition of images at a very low cost. It could be a useful and inexpensive tool for other applications also.


Effective coastal management plans require the use of computer based information systems. In Turkey such a coastal information system is on the way. The aim of this new pilot project is to establish a system that will provide timely information to interested organisations, particularly government agencies. The integration of remote sensing data from different satellites with ground based data in a GIS is of particular importance in this project.

3.4.1 Study area

The Koycegiz-Dalyan Protection Area and its nearby surroundings situated on the Mediterranean coast have been selected as the study area for the pilot project. The area covers the Koycegiz, Ortaca, and Dalaman districts and has been declared a ‘Special Protection Area by the Turkish Government, because of its importance as a nesting area for caretta caretta sea turtles, the occurrence of unique tree species and special ecological conditions, as well as for its historical past. As the area is both a coastal area and a protection area, the study will be challenging work for the participating scientists as it will require considerably sensitive and detailed data from many different sources, which will be integrated in a GIS. Figure 4 shows the Landsat-TM image of the study area.

3.4.2 Project goals

The goals of the project are as follows:

•           To complete a pilot project involving the participation of scientists from different

disciplines, different universities, and different countries using contemporary technologies.

•           To make known the considerable pollution threats to the coastal areas, areas which are essential for Turkey but which have not, until now, been considered important enough to warrant the use of space technologies in their monitoring and management.

•           To plan the extension of the coastal information system established in this project in the Koycegiz-Dalyan Protection Area and its surroundings, to the entire Mediterranean Coast.

•           To promote co-operation between governmental organisations and universities, to facilitate the work of decision-makers and planners by supplying them with the findings, to use advanced technology and sophisticated science through specific applications, and to solve urgent problems and make recommendations for long. term problems. The involvement of governmental organisations is crucial to the success of the project.

•           To develop joint projects with other Mediterranean countries in 2000 to extend the use of the coastal information system.

Figure 4. Landsat-TM image of the study area.

Organisations supporting the project: are the European Space Agency (ESA), Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and SPOT Image. Organisations participating in the project: are Istanbul Technical University (ITU), European Space Agency (ESA), Hacettepe University (HU), Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and Yildiz Technical University (YTU).

Disciplines of the project consist of remote sensing, coastal engineering, hydrogeology, geodesy, geology, surveying, urban planning, meteorology, hydrology and ecology.

3.4.3 Methods and data used: Remote sensing.

Digital image processing.

•           Processing of ERS ‘/2 radar images.

•           Processing of LANDSAT-TM images.

•           Processing of SPOT-P images.

•           Processing of KFA-1000 images.

•           Processing of merged images.

•           Image enhancement.

•           Classification.

Digitising sheets and plans:

Ground Truth measurements

•           GPS measurements.

•           GPS supported water quality measurements.

•           Preparation of bathymetric maps.

•           Combination of GPS and echo sounder.

•           Measurement of environmental parameters.

•           Current measurements.

•           Water level measurements.

•           Dune monitoring.

Ancillary data

•           Demographic.

•           Meteorological.

•           Ecological.

•           Cadastral.

•           Agricultural.

•           Forestral.

•           Tourist.

It is planned that the results of the project will be used by the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Public Works, the Authority of Special Protection Areas, the State Water Works, Provinces, Municipalities, etc.

4. Conclusions

Although there has been pressure to complete the project infrastructure prompt’ particularly in the coastal areas of Turkey, financial constraints have slowed dcvvil project. Great efforts have been made to construct the sewage collection system: wastewater treatment plants and marine discharge systems of coastal provinces and districts. Priority items have been selected within the framework of a recent project, and construction work is still continuing. Marine discharge systems are preferred for those regions that have completed their sewage collection systems, leaving the construction of biological wastewater treatment plants to the long-term, again because of financial constraints. The Turkish coasts are among the less polluted coasts of the Mediterranean Sea; protective measures have to be taken as soon as possible to save the seas before they are considerably polluted. A recent international project on the development of a computer based coastal information system through integration of satellite and ground data is still on the way, and will lead to the development of effective coastal management plans.

5. References

1.         UNEP (1993-1994) United Nations Environmental Programme. Environmental Data Report, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, UK.

2.         UNEP/ MAP (1996) United Nations Environmental Programme. The State of the Marine and Coastal Environment in the Mediterranean Region, MAP, Technical Reports, Series no: 100, Athens.

3.         NEAP (1998) National Environmental Action Plan, State Planning Organisation, Ankara.

4.         EFT (1995) Environmental Profile of Turkey, Environmental Foundation of Turkey, Ankara.

5.         Samsunlu, A. (1996) Wastewater Treatment and Disposal at Coastal Regions of Turkey -Marmaris Example, First Uludag Environmental Engineering Symposium, Proceedings, p.1¬19, 24-26 June 1996, Bursa -Turkey. (In Turkish).

6.         Samsunlu, A., Akca, L., Uslu, 0 (1999). Wastewater Management at the Coastal Districts¬Marmaris Example, Urban Management, Human and Environmental Problems Symposium ’99, 17-19 February 1999, Istanbul, Proceedings, Vol. 3: Environmental Management and Control, pp.134-146. (In Turkish)

7.         Samsunlu, A., Akca, L., (1999) Coastal Pollution and Mitigation Measures in Turkey, Water Science and Technology, Vol. 39, No: 8, 13-20.

8.         Samsunlu, A., Akca, L., Uslu, 0. (1995) Problems Related to an Existing Marine Outfall: Marmaris An Example, Water Science and Technology, Vol. 32, No: 2, 225-231.

9.         Kuleli, T. (1999). Project on Coastal Zone Management and Tourism: Cirali and Belek, Development Report, July 1999, LIFE TCY96/TR/021, Association on the Preservation of Natural Life,

10.       Saner, E., Eronat, A. H., Basoz, C., Uslu, 0. (1999). An Economical New Approach to Airborne Videography- Case Study: Aegean Region of Turkey, Operational Remote Sensing for Sustainable Development, Nieuwenhuis, Vaughan & Molenaat (Eds), Balkema, Rotterdam, pp.113-117,

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