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Friends of Akyaka-Gökova

Newsletter, May 2004


About our Biyo-Gökova Project:


  • Biyo- Gökova project has been revised in order to open the way for investments of towns and villages covered by the Biyo-Gökova project to supply sustainable development by using their possibilities more effectively. From now on, the project is going to continue its work by focusing on town and villages for the use of possibilities already existent in each town and village.


  • In line with the Biyo-Gökova project which is conducted with the contribution of UNDP/GEF, SGP, we have organized a “Stork Walk” on 11 April 2004, to draw attention on the stork population of Akçapinar. As it is well-known, the number of people travelling with the aim of bird watching is increasing rapidly day by day and bird watching tourism is standing out with its possibility to be able in other tourism fields.


  • Akçapinar village which is one village within the scope of the Biyo-Gökova project seems to be a candidate for the near future bird watching tourism with the stork population it accommodates.


  •  With this walk, organized by the Society of Friends of Gökova-Akyaka, foreign and native guests found an opportunity to meet and exchange views with the locals in order to protect the nature and provide a sustainable development of the Gökova plain which is one of the important unspoilt areas of Turkey. Thus the storks, which chose Akçapınar as their homes for centuries, made possible to provide the local people with an income needless of big investments...


  • The same weekend we went with a little group to visit the bird watch places in the plain. To have a group of people of the Marmaris Photography Society among us was a nice example of NGO cooperation.


  • In line with the Biyo-Gökova project which is conducted with the contribution of UNDP/GEF, SGP, we have organized a public meeting in each of the towns and villages covered by the project on 20-21 April 2004. In these meetings experts explained subjects such as, how to grapple with mosquitoes effectively, methods of sustainable agriculture and tourism. These meeting which were shaped with lively discussions, drew interest of protocol and press and are so seemingly contributing to create an environment for discussions and necessary echo for our area. It can be a great contribution to the development of the area if the area under the project is handled as one unite and thus ideas to promote the area are accepted. All towns and villages are going to stand out with the potential they already have and are going to be a part of the great picture.


  • In order to collect data for ecological farming procedures, we have had soil analyses and produce count on the fields covered by project done.


  • Our member Cüneyt Büyükdag and our project assistant Mustafa Ates participated in the UNDP-GEF- SGP project member meeting organized in Ankara in February.  There we found a chance to share our experiences with other STK projects.


  • Our investigations which we started to solve the mosquito problem, which has been an important problem our area faces for years, with modern methods has come to an end and a pilot application has started in Akyaka. For this reason with the participation of Ula Main Health Clinic, Akyaka Health Clinic, the municipality and one volunteer of our society insecticide was spayed on covered areas and pools. This application will be repeated periodically and this problem will be overcome successfully with the support of the people who live in Akyaka. In Addition, we have revised and simplified a brochure previously prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Special Environment Protection Council and we have had it printed. We aim to distribute it to every household with the help of municipality and village administrators. The brochure can be obtained through our society or from the internet site www.akyaka.org .


  •  We have held a meeting with the sub governor of the district of Ula, Osman Aslan Canbaba. At this meeting we have explained the project and our society. His support for both has given us hope and confidence.


  • On 30 April 2004, together with two experts we made a study to determine the flora at the slopes where the ancient rock tombs of the town of Gökova are. At the same time the ancient rock tombs and other natural beauties important for alternative tourism were assessed. After the collecting of plant samples, which took about three hours, they were named and listed. All results will come up in the “Gökova Guide Book” which will be prepared and printed by our society. Thus a visitor who is walking the slopes will be able to see the archaeological wealth and have the chance to gain information about the flora and fauna of the region.


  • A study of a Bird Atlas of the Gökova plain has started. The aim is to make a list of the birds which reproduce here and to watch them. Thus a birdwatcher can know which birds, except migrating ones, can be seen in Gökova. Already, without having finished the study, we can say that the potential of bird species accommodated in our region is high.


  • Together with the mayor of Akyaka, Ahmet Çalca, a local study group has introduced Biyo-Gökova Project in a two-hour live TV programme on Marmaris Channel 48.


Other society activities:


  • We have finished the 2004 exhibition programme. This year’s exhibition started with a mixed exhibition of the Society to Support Modern Life to raise money for education on 21 May. The opening took great place in the media. Exhibitions are completed with the mixed ceramic exhibition 22-31 October.


  • The exhibition brochure which we brought out for the first time last year, we also prepared this year in both Turkish and for our foreign visitors in English. With the brochure, which contains a brief biography and a photo of the artist, it is possible to follow all exhibition dates and their contents.


  • We have established a nice cooperation with our new municipality administration. We think that some problems we face in our town can be easily solved with small initiatives taken by us who use this town. We are ready to cooperate within our society’s possibilities to solve never ending problems of Akyaka, such as mosquito, stray animals, separation of litter and we partially have started to do it.


  • Our bird group called ‘Sky-Bird-Net’ has continued its project to watch the wetland. Last winter, we realized the ‘Mid-Winter Water birds Count’ in the whole of Turkey, in Bodrum Tuzla and Güllük delta, Fethiye wetlands, Lake Köycegiz and of course in Gökova. Our results were conveyed to the Nature Society in Ankara and were recorded in their data bank. We realized that the variety and number of migrating bird species have increased greatly. To see that our educational training of recent years have not been in vain was very satisfying. For this we have to give our special thanks to the gendarme institution. They have made it possible to apply the hunting prohibition by regular area patrols.


  •  We thought that taking an entrance fee to the forestry camp on the west end seaside of Akyaka is against the law and wrote a petition to the Ministry of Forest and Environment Province Head Office with the help of a lawyer. We are still waiting for a reply.


  • We participated in the “World Wetland Day” activities, organized by the Ministry of Forest and Environment in Fethiye.


  • Together with the Bodrum Volunteer we have participated in the ÇED meeting about the golf course, which will damage the nature in Bodrum Tuzla and there we mentioned the damages that will happen to the nature. We tried to stop a 180.000m2 -construction on a wetland which has a, now very rarely found magnificent flamingo population and which fulfils the Ramsar criteria.


        Yours faithfully,

        Heike Thol-Schmitz

        Council Chairperson




Announcement for our members and friends:


We thank you very much for the support you gave to our studies as member of the Society of the Friends of Gökova-Akyaka.

The continuation of your support is very important for us. The seemingly trifle effort you do by paying the membership fees or donate to our association in order to help to our work to protect the natural, urban and cultural values which diminish more every day, may look limited to you but they are very important for us.

For this reason, in order to take part in the ordinary general assemblymembers have to pay their fee for the year 2004 until 31 June 2004.

With the hope that your support of the Society of Friends of Gökova-Akyaka will continue,


Mustafa Taşkesiği



The fee for regular members in 2004 is: 12.000.000 TL

The payment can be made at the society office, at Mustafa Taşkesiği ‘s office, 

Or to: Oyakbank, Muğla, Account No.  824 360-MT-1

Or you choose to pay automatically by credit card on our website where credit card number, holders name and valid date are conveyed to our society.

Non-members can donate the same way.