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Marine pollution in Turkey

Turkey is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. The latter two are connected through the Çanakkale Strait, the Sea of Marmara and the Istanbul Strait. These Turkish Straits in particular are vulnerable for the seawater being polluted by oil spills from ships. The intensity of marine traffic increases, as well as the subsequent chance of calamities. The Turkish authorities recognise this danger and have developed a law that serves as a basis for a structural approach towards minimisation of sea and shore pollution with oil and other harmful substances.

Candidate Member State

PPA/V is one of the Dutch pre-accession programmes that aim to assist candidate Member states in meeting the criteria for EU membership through dealing with the (consequences of) implementation of European legislation. The main objective of these programmes is twofold:

  • providing assistance to the public sector in the implementation of the 'acquis communautaire' or accession related policy
  • establishing lasting relationships between government institutions in the Netherlands and in the recipient countries

Spill response

Within the framework of the pre-accession program PPA/V, the Dutch Agency for International Business and Cooperation (EVD) selected a consortium, with Witteveen+Bos as leading partner, to assist the Turkish authorities with the implementation of EU legislation related to marine spill response. During two years, many related activities have been performed:

  • guidelines were developed for further specification of the legal, organisational and technical aspects in order to fully implement the new legislation
  • a study visit to the Netherlands as well as various training sessions in Turkey have been organised
  • many trainings and workshops were organised
  • four pilot projects were developed in various regions
  • a final seminar was organised to disseminate the results of the project

The key element of the project approach was the use of spill response exercises. During such exercises, spill incidents were simulated and the representatives had to develop a joint strategy to respond to the incident. These exercises pinpointed the level of knowledge of participants, as well as the Turkish governmental bodies involved actually co-operated.