By Zeynep Rakipoglu
ISTANBUL (AA) - Health authorities have declared 81 beaches in Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul safe and hygienic for swimming.
The Provincial Health Directorate declared the beaches suitable for swimming after analyzing samples of sea water taken.
The water was tested using various parameters, including data related to heat, moisture and wind speed along the shores of these beaches.
According to officials, the samples were subjected to microbiological tests for three days and the results were entered into the water monitoring system of Turkey’s Ministry of Health.
“As of this year, 81 swimming areas are declared suitable,” Huseyin Ozyurt, departmental manager in the Health Directorate told Anadolu Agency.
“There is no inconvenience in any of these swimming areas for now, and people can comfortably use these beaches,” he added.
Ozyurt said there are three public health laboratories in Istanbul, where sea water is analyzed using international criteria.
“Scientific studies are conducted in line with the European Union standards,” he said.
He added that in case samples do not match health standards, the beach is immediately closed for swimming.
With its 512-kilometer (318-mile) long coastline, Istanbul is dotted with hundreds of beaches, offering people an escape from the heat.
- Blue-flag registrations
Meanwhile, a process to include Istanbul’s 34 beaches in blue-flag registration was completed by Istanbul’s Metropolitan Municipality, in coordination with the Provincial Health Directorate last year.
The blue flag certification is an exclusive eco-label, given to beaches and marinas after meeting the criteria set by Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), an independent non-profit organization.
For the blue flag certification, the beaches have to meet 33 strict criteria, including hygiene of the sea water, the layout of the beach, life safety measures, lifeguards and the distance of the beach.
*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur