Sustainable Tourism Activities Conducted in Turkey


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TURKISH AGRITOURISM AND NATURE TRAVEL*
Turkey, as result of being part of both Asia and Europe1, has hosted journeys from the very distant past to today. It attracted attention of many people in first and middle ages due to its thermal sources and religious centers. Caravansaries located on the important routes in Seljuk times kept the traveler flow of Anatolia alive2. Tourism is a developing and invested sector that is one of the leading income-generating engines in the Turkish economy3. The Tourism industry is one of the most valuable economic development sectors in Turkey4. The important developments in mass tourism exhibiting varying richness, natural sources, historical and cultural heritage occurred in mass tourism after 19805. Turkish Tourism Strategy -2023 includes the target of fifty million tourists, fifty billion dollar tourism revenue, being among the first five countries with the highest tourism rate6.

Following 1980, the Ministry of Tourism implemented the “Tourism Promotion Law” numbered 26347, which has profoundly benefited eco-tourism, a sector which the Ministry now assesses under headings such as tableland tourism, ornithology (bird watching) tourism, photo safari, river sports (canoe-rafting), farm tourism, botanical (plant review) tourism, cycling tours, horse trekking, camping-caravan tourism, cave tourism, mountain tourism and hiking , botany (plants examination). Status of protected areas in Turkey consist of National Parks, Natural Parks, Natural Monuments, Nature Protection Areas, Wildlife Development Areas, Protection Forests, Gene Protection Forests, Seed Stands, Forest Recreation Areas, Sites, Special Environmental Protection Areas, Wetlands, Ramsar Areas, World Heritage Areas, Emerald Network Areas. As of 2013, there are 40 national parks, 193 nature parks and 111 natural monuments, 31 nature protection areas, and 80 wildlife development areas in Turkey.
Blue Flag Project, Pine Award Project and ISO 14000 Environmental Management System project and the ATAK Project, Belek Management Plan, Mountain-Hiking Project, Tableland Tourism Project, River Tourism Project, Determination-Development of Bicycle Tour Route Project, Horse Hiking Project, Cave Tourism Project, Amateur Line-fishing Project, Bird Watching Project, Agriculture-Farm Tourism Project, Botanical Tourism Project, the Silk Road Project and Hunting Tourism Project are great examples of projects implemented in Turkey which have a focus on sustainable tourism. Another eco-tourism related project is the "Strengthening the Management of Forest Protection Areas Project" which is implemented in Kure Mountains National Park and funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF). With the start of Bird Paradises Project in 2005, 13 Bird Paradises have been implemented so far8.
Sustainable Tourism Activities Conducted in Turkey

Bird Watching

In Turkey there are 466 different species of birds, making it one richest countries in Europe in terms of breeding bird populations. Featuring different habitats, being located on the migration route of birds, and the wealth of wetlands in the country lead to the high diversity of bird species in Turkey. This wealth enables the development of bird watching in Turkey; consequently the development of an alternative tourism branch, Bird Watching Tourism9.
Trekking

Located on Alp-Himalayan fold belt, Turkey is very rich in their geology, flora and fauna. Beautiful mountain ranges span the country, thus leading to significant potential for mountain-hiking10.
Tableland Tourism

Turkey has many values in terms of tableland tourism. There are numerous great and small plateaus around Turkey. Due to the vast multitude of mountainous areas and common transhumance activities in many areas, Turkey has a significant potential in terms of tableland tourism11.
Mountain and Winter Tourism

Turkey is a country located on Alp-Himalayan Mountains where about 55% of the surface area is covered with mountains at the height of 1500-3000 m.12. Turkey has wealthy sources in terms of mountain and winter tourism13.
Cave Tourism

It is expected to find more than 20,000 caves in Turkey according to ratio of the areas occupied by melting rocks and the numbers of the detected caves in these areas however 1250 of these caves were observed. Caves open to tourism in Turkey for equipped normal visitor and for just equipped professional visitors (The Ministry of Culture And Tourism).
Scuba-diving Tourism

Shipwrecks and underwater caves in Turkey’s waters wait to be explored by divers. Scuba diving offers two kinds of diving - recreational and sportive diving for new beginners14.
Air Sports Tourism

Air sports such as Paragliding, Hang-glider, Glider, Parachute and Balloon15 have a place in Turkey’s vast skies.
Amateur Line Fishing

Amateur line fishing is possible off nearly every coast, in the ocean, lakes and rivers16.
White Water Tourism

Rich with natural resources such as lakes and rivers, water sports (rafting, canoeing and river skiing) have an important place in Turkey’s tourism attractions. White water tourism is most popular on the Artvin Coruh River, Artvin Altiparmak (Barhal) Watercourse, Rize Firtina Brook, Antalya Köprüçay, Antalya Manavgat Watercourse, Icel Anamur (Dragon) Watercourse , Icel Goksu River and Dalaman Watercourse17.
Horse Trekking

Horse riding requires basic horse-riding training. Riders, after receiving basic training, have the chance to participate in a safari on a horse, orienteering, daily or weekly trips in Turkey18. Horse trekking is carried out more intensively in cities like, Cappadocia, Bayburt, Kastamonu, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Mugla in Turkey19.
Cycling Tourism

Many regions of Turkey are great for bicycle tours; bicycle tourism activities are on routes designated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism20.
Fauna Watching and Botanical Tourism

Turkey hosts over 90,000 plant and animal species. Three out of four of all plant species existing in Europe are grown in Turkey at the same time. Wild relatives of many important agricultural plant species originated in Turkey: cherries, apricots, almonds, figs, wheat, chickpeas, lentils, apples, pears, chestnuts, Antep pistachios, and others. Turkey hosts some of the rarest species of the world including the grizzly bear, wolf, leopard, jackal, hyena and antelope. Turkey is the motherland of fawn deer, pheasant, wild boar and lynx and many other animals now found across the world (OECD, 2008: 104). Turkey is home to 75% of plant species found on the European continent21.
Photo Safari

Turkey is a quite favorable country for a photo safari with so much untouched natural beauty, flora and fauna, rich culture, folklore, music, lifestyle, food, and wonderful people22.
Camping-Caravan Tourism

Turkey has many natural areas where camping is permitted with tents and caravans as well as purposes of daily recreation, entertainment and picnic. Camping-Caravan Tourism offers fairly large opportunities for people who want spend time with nature23.
Rural Tourism

Hiking, outdoor and recreational activities, shopping and day-tripping to the villages for food, drink and specialty local products rank 1st in terms of rural tourism24. The first example is Ta Tu Ta project (Ecological Agriculture Tourism Knowledge and Experience Exchange). Within Ta Tu Ta project, 72 farms located in 34 different locations in Turkey are provided with suitable opportunities for agritourism25. Another project is Kastamonu Zümrüt Vilage and Çıralı conducted within UN GEF (Global Environment Fund) program. Within the scope of this project, it is aimed to protect the beach in Çıralı as Caretta Caretta laying place as well as sustain ecological agriculture and maintain an ecological tourism-based living model in harmony with nature.
Writers :





Ahmet TAYFUN, Associate Professor

Gazi University, Turkey
He was graduated from Gazi University, Faculty of Commerce Tourism Education in 1992. He continued master's and doctoral training at the same university and he became assistant professor doctor in 2002. He received the title of associate professor in 2010. He has been working in Gazi University, Tourism Faculty. His research area is tourism economy. He is married and he has two children.










Elif ACUNER, Assistant Professor Doctor

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University, Turkey
She was graduated from Gazi University, Faculty of Commerce Tourism Education in 2003. She continued master's and doctoral training at the same university and she became assistant professor doctor in 2014. She has been working in Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University since 2006. Her research area is tourism marketing. She is married.











1* This chapter was prepared by Ahmet Tayfun and Elif Acuner

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6 General Directorate of Promotion, Information Report; 2013: 10

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8 SUNGUR, Z. (2012). Sürdürülebilir Eko Turizmin Toplumsal Etkileri: Türkiye’den Örnekler. Uluslar arası Avrasya Ekonomileri Konferansı. Almatı.

9 AKPINAR, E. ve BULUT, Y. (2010). Ülkemizde Alternatif Turizm Bir Dalı Olan Eko Turizmi Çeşitlerinin Bölgelere Göre Dağılımı Ve Uygulama Alanları. III. Ulusal Karadeniz Ormancılık Kongresi, Trabzon, Ss: 1575-1594.

10 ERDOĞAN, N. (2003). Çevre Ve (Eko) Turizm. Genel Yayın ve Dağıtım, Ankara.

11 ÖGÜTÇÜ, B. (2002). Ülkemizde Yayla Turizmi. Bilim ve Aklın Aydınlığında Eğitim Dergisi, 3(29), Ss:1-4, Ankara.

12 İLBAN, M. O. ve KAŞLI, M. (2008). ş Turizmi, Turistik Ürün Çeşitlendirmesi, (Editörler: N. Hacıoğlu ve C. Avcıkurt), Nobel Yayın Dağıtım, Ankara.

13 KOZAK, N., AKOĞLAN KOZAK, M. ve KOZAK, M. (2000). Genel Turizm İlkeler Kavramlar, Detay Yayıncılık (9. Basım), Ankara.

14 ERDOĞAN, N. (2003). Çevre Ve (Eko) Turizm. Genel Yayın ve Dağıtım, Ankara.

15 AKPINAR, E. ve BULUT, Y. (2010). Ülkemizde Alternatif Turizm Bir Dalı Olan Eko Turizmi Çeşitlerinin Bölgelere Göre Dağılımı Ve Uygulama Alanları. III. Ulusal Karadeniz Ormancılık Kongresi, Trabzon, Ss: 1575-1594.

16 BAKIRCI, M. (2002). Eko Turizm. II. Turizm Şurası Bildirileri. II. Cilt. Ankara. Ss: 243–252.

17 Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, 2004: 13

18 AKPINAR, E. ve BULUT, Y. (2010). Ülkemizde Alternatif Turizm Bir Dalı Olan Eko Turizmi Çeşitlerinin Bölgelere Göre Dağılımı Ve Uygulama Alanları. III. Ulusal Karadeniz Ormancılık Kongresi, Trabzon, Ss: 1575-1594.

19 Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, 2004: 15

20 ERDOĞAN, N. (2003). Çevre Ve (Eko) Turizm. Genel Yayın ve Dağıtım, Ankara.

21 (Environment Specialization Commission Report, 2006: 36)

22 AKPINAR, E. ve BULUT, Y. (2010). Ülkemizde Alternatif Turizm Bir Dalı Olan Eko Turizmi Çeşitlerinin Bölgelere Göre Dağılımı Ve Uygulama Alanları. III. Ulusal Karadeniz Ormancılık Kongresi, Trabzon, Ss: 1575-1594.

23 AKPINAR, E. ve BULUT, Y. (2010). Ülkemizde Alternatif Turizm Bir Dalı Olan Eko Turizmi Çeşitlerinin Bölgelere Göre Dağılımı Ve Uygulama Alanları. III. Ulusal Karadeniz Ormancılık Kongresi, Trabzon, Ss: 1575-1594.

24 AYDIN, O. (2012). AB’de Kırsal Turizmde İlk 5 Ülke ve Türkiye’de Kırsal Turizm. KMÜ Sosyal ve Ekonomik Araştırmalar Dergisi, 14(23), Ss: 39-46.

25 PIRNAR, İ. ve İÇÖZ, O. (2009). Tarım-Turizm İlişkisi Ve Bir Alternatif Turizm Ürünü Olarak Türkiye’de Tarım Turizmi. 10. Ulusal Turizm Kongresi Bildiriler Kitabı, Detay Yayıncılık, Mersin, Ss: 555–577.

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