The Friends of Gökova-Akyaka

December 2003

Hello friends of Akyaka, 

What did the society do recently? 


In connection with our "Biyo Gökova" project: 

  • Our scientific project-team, consisting of Paul Hope and Heike Thol-Schmitz, continued its investigations.  The biological diversity in Eucalyptus plantings compared to corresponding Güllük-tree forests are the subject of this work.  After termination, the reports will be published.  They then will be Turkey’s most comprehensive work on this subject.  In connection with this subject, there was held a conference arranged by the company of MOPAK.  The MOPAK, a papermill in Dalaman, encourages the farmers to plant Eucalypti trees.  Although the participation of our society was planned, we were, due to obvious reasons, not invited.  The unsustainability of these plantings concerning the biological diversity is considerable. Despite of being not invited we have delivered our views to the authorities and stakeholders. 

  • In order to change the agricultural use of our project zone to a more ecological basis, we found a very experienced expert on this matter.  In the coming months, we are optimistic  that with his help our farmers will change their way of producing into a  protective, natural and sustainable manner.  Hopefully after that we will be able to consume the agricultural products here without fear or objections.   

  • The antique rock tombs situated in Gökova are supposed to be opened for tourism.  From our side, all necessary steps are have been taken, including the financing.  The municipality of Gökova now only must apply for the required and verbally already given permission.  We hope, all this will be  settled until the coming season... 

  • The protection of the stork colony of the neighbour community Akçapınar precedes slowly.  We could connect this small project to a bigger, Turkeywide stork protection project.  In order to raise the consciousness of the local population, we prepared a large quantity of public awareness materials with the collaboration of an organisation from Iskenderun.  On the meetings in the spring, we will be able to distribute these materials. 


  • From now on, our members and friends can transfer their contributions or donations per credit card:

  • On our web page we arranged for that a special link.

Those, who have not access to the internet, can send per fax or letter the following data to us:

SECURITY CODE (the last 3 numbers of the number on the back of the card)
SUM AND REFERENCE (contribution / yearly fee)
This modern type of money transfer will not only be simpler for us, but also for you, we hope. 


  • As a termination of the last season, we prepared an exhibition of our organisation’s paintings collection.  Under the title "Retrospective", we showed the works of artists that showed their work in the last years.  Already now we have many registrations for the coming exhibition season.  We are always open for new ideas or criticism in this regard.  The openings, that developed gradually into a meeting point not only for friends of arts, will be missed us in the coming winter months. 

  • By means of our exhibitions and other activities, we were able to gain some new members.  Especially pleased us, that some citizens who formerly were rejecting or opposing our society, now again used our cultural offer. 

  • As the stairway and the floor of the  Nail Çakırhan & Halet Çambel Culture And Art House had been damaged by the pleasingly numerous visitors, we had to do some repair work. 


  • In order to receive final clarity about the planned building activities along the river (Kadin Azmak), we had to address the special protection authority in Ankara.  For years repeated inquiries at local or regional offices remained - if an answer was given at all -, generally unsatisfactory or unclear in the result.  We hope, that the inquiry in Ankara will have better results.

  • From Spain Ignasi Ripoll of SEO/ Bird Life visited us.  This expert exchange was promoted and supported by the WWF.  In the past year, our chairperson Heike Thol-Schmitz had been invited to Spain to participate there in works concerning the sustainable use of the Ebro - Delta. 

  • We collected a (hopefully) complete list of the Turkish scientific literature concerning the fish otter.  Partially forgotten or missing contributions were written again in painstaking work and y were made accessible on our web page for interested circles. 

  • The illegal hunting  in our region could be stopped to a great degree.  Here we have to thank especially the Jandarma and its environmental department (yes, we have that it in Turkey!)  In the framework of our possibilities, we will continue work here and will carry out our inspections. 

  • We took part at a workshop in Bodrum.  Subject was the threat to the Tuzla wetlands through a planned gulf place.  The meeting was extraordinarily lively and led to most exited discussions.  Our society is more and more acknowledged by the authorities in its function as a wetland-monitor.  This is pleasing and encouraging in one way, but on the other hand counter reactions became now somewhat stronger than previously. 

  • We are now as ever in close contact to the Co-operative for ecological and sustainable agriculture in Cirali/Antalya.  To exchange experiences, we had a group from Cirali as guests.   


  • We have now a comprehensive archive of all newsletters and activity reports since the foundation in 1991 on the Turkish part of our web page.  (Unfortunately until now only in Turkish) This was an enormous typing job and we thank our helpers, who sacrificed their time.  We yet still need help with the translation of some texts from Turkish into German or English.  Therefore, if you could help us, and want to... 

  • In August we had planned a boat trip for all members to reduced prices.  Unfortunately the company, with which we had planned the excursion, let us down.  Nevertheless we met  everyone and spent a lovely day at the beach.  On this occasion we distributed also our societies new T-shirts. 

  • Our offer to the municipality to participate in the ceremonies to the 80th anniversary of the republic, unfortunately was not accepted. 

This is the last newsletter before the coming communal elections.  We legally may not express here a recommendation.  But we have one proposal:

  • Give your vote in Akyaka! 

Thus, our society and everyone who is aware of art, culture and environment, will get more political weight in Akyaka.

 We wish you Merry Christmas and a happy new year 2004


in the name of the society

Thomas Schmitz


Gökova-Akyaka’yı Sevenler Derneği 

Nail Çakırhan Cad. 7

48640 Akyaka-Ula