1 2 3

Marine pollution Turkey

Project result 1: Development of national legislation in accordance with international requirements

The activities for this project started with Spill Exercise 1, to identify the baseline situation on spill response in Turkey. It appeared that the existing Turkish laws and regulations are mostly consistent with EU and other international regulations. However, there are a few exceptions and omissions, mainly related to institutional issues (roles, responsibilities and communication).

Within the framework of the project, guidelines were developed in order to complete the relevant Turkish laws and regulations, properly addressing (additional) international obligations following MARPOL, the Barcelona Convention (REMPEC) and the Bucharest Convention:

  • guidelines on the establishment of coastal facilities, operation groups and other relevant institutions with responsibilities to respond to oil pollution
  • guidelines for the implementation of responsibilities and duties of governorships and coordination committees
  • guidelines for the effective implementation of responsibilities and duties of operation coordinators and on-the-scene coordinators, including a description of their competencies and qualifications
  • guidelines for the use of response equipment
  • guidelines for the cleaning operation of the coastline and for the rehabilitation of the polluted area
  • guidelines for the implementation of international conventions related with civil liability and compensation
  • guidelines for documents and models on national responsibilities and obligations of MARPOL, such as determination of illegal discharge and collection of evidence
  • national action plan for implementation of REMPEC strategies with respect to preparation for major pollution incidents
  • guidelines for monitoring illegal discharges

Project result 2: Strengthened capacity of the beneficiaries

It was assessed that the capacities of the beneficiaries cover many aspects relevant for spill response, but only a few of them have an overview of the total approach. The beneficiaries had little hands-on experience with spill response in general and the application of the relevant Turkish laws and regulations. To improve this, the following activities were performed:

  • a 5-day study visit of 10 staff members of the beneficiaries to the Netherlands, visiting Amsterdam and Rotterdam Port representatives, Dutch governmental organisations on marine pollution (Rijkswaterstaat and Dutch Coast Guard) and private companies working in the field of marine pollution
  • many presentations and workshops during missions to Turkey
  • a 5-day training course in Ankara on all relevant aspects of spill preparedness and response;

Following the training, Spill Exercise 2 was executed to assess the increased capacities of the beneficiaries and the remaining training needs, which were fulfilled during an additional 2-day training course.

Project result 3: Cooperation structure between the beneficiaries

The relevant Turkish laws and regulations describe the organisational issues relevant to effectively respond to accidental spills in Turkey. Various issues were identified that currently lead to questions and could be a subject for improvement. These issues were further elaborated and clarified within the organisational guidelines that were prepared under project result 1.

A vital step for improved cooperation is enhanced communication between the parties involved. Much energy was put into activities to stimulate this communication. Also, various pilot activities were developed that encouraged cooperation between national and local representatives, organised on several locations:

  • in Adana/Ceyhan: oil response ‘train-the-trainer’ course
  • in Istanbul: ‘train-the-trainer’ course on hazardous noxious substances
  • in Izmir: workshop on illegal discharges
  • in Çanakkale: training on claims and compensation


The project contributed to the development of a sound spill response structure in Turkey that meets international requirements. Yet, the beneficiaries will need to continue to maintain and improve levels of knowledge both at central and at local level, as well as cooperation between beneficiaries. Various issues have been identified that need to be further elaborated beyond the scope of this project. Specifically, the activities following from the guideline ‘Implementation of REMPEC strategies with respect to preparation for response to major pollution incidents’ should be prioritised, for example:

  • establishing procedures for designation of places of refuge in order to minimise the risk of widespread pollution
  • enhancing the levels of pre-positioned equipment under the direct control of Mediterranean States
  • participation of the regional scientific and technical institutions in research and development activities and facilitation of transfer of technology
  • improving the decision-making process through development and introduction of technical and decision support tools

The project was challenging for Witteveen+Bos, as it concerned final responsibility for institutional developments and legal and technical support related to a subject of great international importance. The beneficiaries contributed to this by cooperating in a very pleasant and functional way. The project gave a substantial contribution to the optimisation of national legislation in line with EU regulations. The next step for Turkey will be to enhance the operational developments on a regional level.