For a very long time The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey are primary
breeding grounds and home for loggerhead turtles, also known as Caretta Carettas.
The last years are also very important. Since they are facing extinction as their
breeding grounds are disturbed, the loggerheads are the top priority of the local
authorities and volunteers.
The volunteers and authorities start their watch early in May in order to protect the turtles and help the baby loggerheads find their way back to the sea once they hatch. This year, the volunteers in Antalya's Çıralı Beach had their best year so far as the number of loggerhead babies doubles in the following year. They are ready for more mother loggerheads and are waiting impatiently.
Thirty years ago, Çıralı was planned to be converted into a golf course but since it was a certified breeding ground for loggerhead turtles, the construction stopped and the beach was taken under protection. In 2017, loggerheads built 75 nests and 4,432 babies were guided to the sea. In 2018, there were 151 nests and almost 10,000 babies that found their way to the sea.
So far, Çıralı has been visited by three loggerhead turtles that have laid their eggs. The beach is closed for tourists starting from May 1 and people are only allowed after 09:00 p.m.
Rıza Kamil from the Nature Protection and National Parks Directorate explained the restrictions in place to keep the loggerhead eggs safe and said that it is strictly forbidden to walk animals, drive motorized vehicles and light fires, even at night.
Kamil also said that they are organizing educational sessions with local people and tourists to inform them about the importance of the loggerhead breeding grounds and what they should be careful of while enjoying the beaches of Antalya.
Last Updated: 8.6.2019 09:59:12