– Conservation and Advocacy

– Research

– Public Awareness and Environmental Education  

– Awards

   (1990-2008) Monitoring illegal or unplanned developments on all coasts in Turkiye and preventing the coastal development in several coastal stretches such as;

(1990) Campaign against the huge tourist complex on Karaada island, Bodrum, an important monk seal site as well as 1st degree natural SIT area, which finally resulted in halting the development project on the island.(1997) Construction of a new road along Dilek National Park, near Aydin, Turkish Aegean coast, an important monk seal site in Turkiye, was monitored and stopped through official comminuque with justification reports and meetings.

(2002) A new coastal road was monitored along northern coasts of Datça Peninsula and it was stopped sucessfully through close contact, reportings and meetings with the relevant governmental departments.

(1990-1991) Preparation of National Strategy for the Conservation of Mediterranean monk seal in Turkiye, pioneering the establishemnt of National Monk Seal Committee (NMSC) and being a founder member of NMSC.

(1991) Proposing a draft article of Aqua Products Circular of Ministry of Agriculture, regulating the prohibition of diving by all means into Mediterranean monk seal caves on all Turkish coasts, which was accepted unanimously in the 1st NMSC meeting in January 1991.
(1992-1998) Activities to prevent seal attacks to fish farms; developing outer protection nets, providing free consulting services, construction and control of outer protection nets underwater and its control.
   (1996-1997) As a result of the clean-up operation of oil pollution in Gümüşlük Çavuş Island, seals returned their healthy habitats. (back issues Vol.1 No.1 in focus)
(1997-2001) Monitoring the illegal and/or unplanned area (e.g. development projects without EIA)development on habitats of the Mediterranean monk seals, getting into contact with the relevant governmental bodies and proposing the cautions to be taken are among the continueing activities. The monitored settlement activities that destructed / will destruct directly Mediterranean monk seal habitats are written below:
1.Monitoring of road construction on the North coast of Sinop Peninsula.
2.Monitoring the coastal road at Mesudiye Palamut and  Körmen – Mersincik and taking illicit sand from Datça. (back issues Vol.2 No.1 Regional news)
3. Studies of contra lobby against the Gediz Delta Dock and Port construction Project, research and compiling of information and conveying these views to the relevant ministries.  Environment Ministry decided to conserve the region in accordance with the data and views of SAD-AFAG and DHKD and all the investments were given up. The Delta of Gediz becomes a new Ramsar area.
4. Applying for Bodrum, Yalıkavak – Küdür Peninsula to be SIT area in the first grade  and the approval of the recommendation by AFAG.
5. The danger of the invasion by the cooperative houses built in Karaburun Peninsula.

6. Monitoring the construction of the road planned to be opened inward of the bays of Göcek .

7. Monitoring the coastal road opened on the southern coast of Dilek Peninsula National Park and stopping it without  causing a big problem.

8. Invasion of Sığacık-Kokar Bay by the secondary (summer) houses; field survey and monitoring  the area in case of the danger against Sığacık’s  taken out first grade SIT area status.

9. Habitat survey on Kabak Bay (near Fethiye) and appliaction to court was made against the Özyar Ltd in Fethiye-Gemile. The case resulted with the achievement in favour of jointly SAD-AFAG and Ministry of Culture.

10. A report with photograph was sent to therelevant Forestry and Environment Ministry and Muğla Governorship  about the intense woodcutting on the northern coasts of Datça, niche of Mersincik. Especially, Sukhad and pine trees were subjected to this massacre and the intervention of the relevant body and solution to the problem in May.

11. About the marina that was planned to be built in Dalaman in 1999, we cooperated with Association of Protecting Wildlife for making a field research on the beach. As a result of the research, it was observed that the area has been still an important habitat for sea birds, raptors, passerines, Mediterranean monk seals (monachus monachus), and sea turtles (Caretta caretta). In 2000, the area’s second grade SIT status was upgraded to first grade SIT status by Ministry of Culture. The investment of the marina of Dalaman has not been started; Doğuş Holding Company sued against the decision of the ministry and the company has won the case. Now, the area includes endangering species and ecosystems; the area’s being second grade SIT area makes eastern coasts of Dalaman and Kocagöl be in danger.

Foça Activities:

We participated in the workshop of Marine Protection Areas organized by DHKD on 22-24 January. As a result of the workshop; a declaration prepared together with SAD-AFAG, DHKD-WWF and TUDAV was presented to the Environment Ministry. On 20 May, a second meeting was held. As a result of the meeting, it was decided that a technical subcommittee under National Seal Committee would be formed. On 14 June this committee was assembled; it would prepare a technical report about MPA and would present it to Ministry of Environment .

Seeked a finance to patrol Foça marine protected area against illegal fisheries and İzmir Governorship Environment Foundation allocated TL 835 millions.

Participated in UNDP-GEF Meeting in Ankara.

Lobby activities and meetings were held with Environmental Protection Agency for Special Areas (EPASA) for the establishment of core protection zones, which was finally achieved and Siren Rocks were closed most of human activities.

Lobby activities and interviews were taken place in Forestry Ministry National Parks Department.

The legal regulation was compiled about Marine Protection Areas in Türkiye .

Participation in Protection of the Caretta and Monachus Action Plan organized by İzmir Province Environment Office on 14 May.

Attempt to form the technical sub committee under Foça Local Seal Committee, in the committee there would be AFAG, Environment Unit, Foça and Foça Local Water Product Cooperative Societies.

In the official gazette dated 2 August: The decision about the no fishing zone was published. The areas Melleç Ayıbalığı Kumbaralık -no fishing zone- and decision about fishing of groupers and dog-toothed groupers was published.

Official matters were achieved for the ship bought for Aydıncık NFZ .

The maps of the areas suggested to the Ministry of Environment to be a seal protection area were taken from the relevant ministry and protection areas and their status were marked to the copy of the maps and given to the Environment Ministry. Moreover, the management plans for the areas were translated into Turkish and sent to the ministry.

A campaign and a technical study was started about the illegal construction of road in Datça-a very important habitat for Mediterranean monk seal.

A demand letter about forming regulation within National Seal Committee was sent to Environment Ministry.

Karaburun Activities:

Karaburun Office staff took part in National and Local Seal Committee in 2002 as participants and gave information in the meeting about our projects that have been executed. As a result of our staff’s great efforts of introducing AFAG to Karaburun Gendarmery Commander, the Commander gave the information that in case of warning they would hold an inquiry about the situation. District Directorate of Education decided to form Karaburun Peninsula Education Consultancy Commission in which all the non-governmental organizations would take part. AFAG participated in this commission. Interviews about illegal activities were continued to be held with Karaburun Aqua Product Cooperative Society members and the fishermen.  Besides; information network was formed with Jenderma Command and the local people. At the end of the general lobby activities of Karaburun Office, it was decided that the highest amount of fine would be increased to 6 billions for the sea.  Participated in Croatha Majoralty Assembly Meetings. The Sredozemna Medvjedica Group was welcomed here and they were participated in the watching studies.  Continued to partake in Peninsula Assembly Meetings and in these meetings information about AFAG’s studies were given; education studies executed with the fishermen was held. Between the niche of Mordağan Ayıbalığı Cape of Ardıç and Ege University Control Station, the area from coast to 20 m depth is closed to fishery activities. The number of the Mordoğan Fishermen Cooperative Society member is 43, Kaynarppınar is 50, Yeniliman is 16, Balıkova is 42 and Karaburun is 31. Alternative ways of money earning have been found for people of Karaburun. Moreover; participated in the projects to support Karaburun Agriculture Head. Participated in the meetings about the existing public work plans, sit areas and revision of work plans which should be done. Karaburun Peninsula Local Agenda 21 – Peninsula Assembly Commission was watched by the observers coming from WWF Programme and during the meeting, it was declared that excessive fishing affected both the bay and the seals negatively. A declaration entitled to “HALKIMIZA” about the protection of Mediterranean monk seal’s habitat was prepared and distributed with the support of the Mayoralty. At the end of the communication studies, there were students wanted to work voluntarily.

On the inquiry ”Diving Regulations on Karaburun Coasts” was prepared and an informative meeting was held for the public. The whole 297 seal data registrartion was completed. Info was given in İzmir Environment Head Department about what should be done when the turtles and the seals were found dead. A picnic organized with the students working for clear environment. Moreover; according to the last cencus data in Karaburun Office, a grouping was made to the distribution of the population to education and age. Graphics were drawn by relating human activities with seeing Mediterranean monk seal in Karaburun Peninsula in 2001. Close contaction was formed with İzmir Environment Head Department and also it was helped to clean the quary.

Bozyazı Activities:

To take caution and to operate when it needed, daily fishing data were collected. Started in 2001, this application was successfully continued in 2002, too. Apart from Cape of Kızılliman’s being first grade sit area, it was said that the region was of vital importance in terms of Mediterranean monk seals. A file was prepared about the legal regulations for the protection of these seals and it was sent to Bozyazı Forestry Head. Within the protection studies, visits were made to be more sensitive with the Coast Guard Team. In Aydıncık, a man who threw a cage into the the sea was caught with the help of Coast Guard and the cage was collected. In February 2002, Fishernan Information Network was established and this was important in terms of preventing illegal fishing and providing a more effective protection. Besides, to increase our efficiency, AFAG took part as a superviser in Bozyazı Office Aydıncık Water Product Fisherman Cooperative Society that had the equal distance both towards the public and towarsd the civil society organizations. At the group meetings with fishermen, information was given about SMAP supported by EU and the duties that fishermen should do.

    From the establishment till today, SAD-AFAG has been performing field research activities on the species biology, habitat, distribution and interaction with human along Turkish coasts. The results of our research activities have been published in the form of scientific articles in refereed journals, popular articles in national media, reports, conference papers or books. SAD-AFAG publications can be requested by e-mail [email protected] upon which they will be provided as link or in the form of pdf file.
    The most prominent success of our research has been determination of the distribution and approximate population size of the species along Turkish coasts as well as its biology. Also, threats have been identified and reported to the relevant governmental departments accordingly. Some of our proposals have been agreed by the governmental departments and the needed regulations have been put into force as a result of our research studies.

     For non-governmental organizations, managing nature protection studies like AFAG, the process of raising public awareness and education is vitally important.  An internel regulation was prepared so as to be more fertile in 2002 communication studies and to reach a more favourable communication strategy application of pre and post process of evaluation. Education studies of our offices lasted continuously in 2002 and very positive feedbacks were got. As usual, for Ankara, İzmir, Mersin and Muğla, official permission was got to organize education studies in these schools and our studies were announced by Directorate of Public Education to the all schools in their region. Many schools were visited upon the schools’ requests. The aim of the educaton studies is not only to give information about the Mediterranean monk seal but also to make children, young people and educators aware of the protection of environment and coast lines, biodiversity and ecological blance. The efficiency of the educations were reinforced by dia and screening film, brochurs and posters. The students were motivated with small gifts. A paint, poem and composition competition about Mediterranean monk seal and coast-marine organized by AFAG Karaburun and Bozyazı  Office among all the schools in the region. Very positive encouraging feedback was got about the education studies by headship of the schools. Education materials were supported and a common study was made with the teachers. Studies of education and public awareness were supported with the meetings upon coast usage. Students continued to benefit from the library of our Karaburun Office for their term work.

Together with the education studies in schools, in SAD-AFAG Project Office, studies of public awareness was implemented. Upon listening to the troubles of the fishermen, AFAG staff found solutions to them. Intense efforts were spent in 2002 to create nature protection awareness, to create close relation with the fishermen cooperative society and to study on the alternative ways of money earning. While these studies were executing, it was seen that our studies were awarded by both the students and the civil public. The most charming indication of this is that in 2002 more than 1800 students were trained about AFAG and the Mediterranean monk seals.

Number  Students
Aykan College
Sosyal Demokrasi Vakfı Eğitim Kampı
Bilkent University
İnsani Bilimler Bölümü
Ankara University
Veterinerlik Fakültesi
Çankaya Rotary Kulübü
Ankara Üniversitesi
Su Ürünleri Fakültesi
9 Eylül Üniversitesi
Deniz Bilimleri Enstitüsü
İzmir Amerikan Lisesi
İzmir Amerikan Lisesi
Karaburun Yarımadası
Gülbahçe İlköğretim Okulu
Karaburun Yarımadası
Mordoğan İlköğretim Okulu
Karaburun Yarımadası
Mordoğan İlköğretim Okulu
Karaburun Yarımadası
Mordoğan Lisesi
Karaburun Yarımadası
Balıklıova İlköğretim Okulu
Karaburun Yarımadası
Balıklıova İlköğretim Okulu
Özel Deniz Lisesi
İzmir Çemberlitaş Lisesi
Atakent İlköğretim Okulu
Özel Türk Lisesi
Menderes İlköğretim Okulu
Tevfik Fikret İlköğretim Okulu
Karaburun Yarımadası
Mordoğan Süleyman Nihat Üzümcü İlköğretim Okulu
Karaburun Yarımadası
Mordoğan Süleyman Nihat Üzümcü İlköğretim Okulu
Karaburun Yarımadası
Mordoğan Süleyman Nihat Üzümcü İlköğretim Okulu
In Foça;
  • Reha Necla Midilli Primary School was supported to continue to the membership of GREEN FLAG and during the year, education programs were prepared about the Mediterranean monk seal, coast-marine protection studies.
  • With the Cooperation Foça Local Agenda 21 and Documentary Cinemas Association and with the suppport of Foça Municipality Second Rastgele Fishery and Sea Documentaries Festival was held in August. During the Fest workshops were organized to find solutions to the problems of the fishermen.
  • Meetings were held regularly to create solutions to the problems of Foça Fishery Cooperative Society.
In Karaburun;
  • İzmir Özel Türk Koleji and İzmir Atatürk ENDÜSTRİ Meslek Lisesi students whom we managed an education program in November 2001, informed us that they wanted to participite in our education programmes.
  • The journal of  “Akdeniz Gezgini” was distributed for free to the schools and relevant governmental bodies in the region.
  • In Karaburun including the whole Karaburun Peninsula, a painting, poem and composition competition about Mediterranean monk seal, Nature and Human in Karaburun  was held and the finalists were awarded with jigsaw puzzle.
  • Regularly getting into contact with fishermen cooperative society in Karaburun Peninsula, solutions to the problems of the fishermen were tried to be found.
In Bozyazı;
  • Common studies were executed with Public District Education Directorate.
  • In Bozyazı, Nature Fest, greatly approved by Bozyazı Sub-Governorship and assessing the works of the students of Halk Eğitim El Sanatları broke ground effective studies.
  • Under the name of “ Support to National Education” a dia show about “ Mediterranean monk seal and Mediterrannean Ecosystem” was held in the hall of the Mayoralty Assembly.
  • The journal of “Akdeniz Gezgini” were distributed freely to the schools and official governmental bodies in the region.
  • A column about seals which was consisted of pictures and informative texts was prepared to be hanged to the notice board in Public District Education Directorate, İzmir District Directorate of Agriculture and Bozyazı Anadolu Lisesi
  • Dia shows were organized to empasize the importance of Mediterranean monk seals and our shore lanes.
  • Painting competition with the theme of “Let’s perpetute our seals” and “ Mediterranean monk seal” was an important device in terms of reaching to the students.
  • As part of the education studies in schools a dia show was held about “Mediterranean monk seal Reasons that threatens Mediterranean monk seal”.
  • With the participation of Aydıncık Mayor and the fishermen, “A Friendship Meeting” was held and the problems of the fishermen was listened and solutions were tried to be found.
  • As a part of the “ Tourism Week”, Bozyazı Sub-Governor made a speech about Mediterranean monk seals and their habitat. In the activities, a Seal Information Stand was opened and it was greatly attracted the attention of managerial staff, students and civil public .
         In Ankara;
  • In 2002,  200 copy of the study reports of 2001 were published and enclosed with the VCD of “Akdenizli – Mediterranean” documentary film were sent to the directors of the relevant governmental organizations in Ankara and the relevant coastal towns.
  • In 2002, re-started the campaign of “Adopt a Mediterranean Monk Seal”. 36 people participated in this campaign which was supported by the media. Monk seal new-year cards were published and distributed to the members and governmental departments.
  • With the support of İzmir District Directorate of Environment and İzmir Environment Protection Organization, a Mediterranean monk seal poster designed and published.
  •  A multivision presentation was prepared and sent to  İstanbul Çarşamba Education Park to be showed.
  • Participeted in the XI. NGO Symposium organized for non-governmental organizations and Local Administrations on 21-22 June 2002.
  • An information stand was opened in the Tübitak Invention Days on 7-8 June 2002



Seminars, conferences and dia shows were held about the importance of Mediterranean monk seals and protection of marine and coastal habitats in Ankara, İzmir, İstanbul, Bodrum, Finike, Bozyazı, Anamur, Karaburun and Foça especially in schools, universities, village cafes and culture centers. Education studies were organized for the artisanal fishermen. Informative brochures, posters, t-shirts and books for children about the protection of Mediterranean monk seal were created and they were all distributed in local and national scale.

         (1997-1998) TRAINING FOR DIVE GUIDES


Seminars about the biology of Mediterranean monk seals, threats to the species and its habitat were provided by SAD-AFAG members as invited by the Diving Federation of Türkiye. The message was emphasized during the seminars that the monk seals’ caves shouldn’t be entered by the divers. With the cooperation of Underwater, Life Saving, Water Sports and Fin Diving Federation, AFAG trainers organized seminars and gave information about this rare animal and in general about sea mammals in the training course of official guide diver education programme in 1997 in Bodrum, SW Türkiye and in 1998 in Ordu, Black Sea coast.


RASTGELE Festival organized by SAD-AFAG, Documentary Films Association and Foça Local Agenda 21, non-governmental organizations were supported by Foça Sub-Governorship, Foça Municipality and Foça Aqua Product Cooperative. On 29 August- 2 September 2001 during the festival, many documentaries about fishermen and the sea was presented and besides competitions of “Fishing Boat Race”, “Net Repairing” , “Mending Fishing Nets” were held and a forum about sustainable fishery was organized.

3rd International Fishermen & Sea Documentary Films Festival was held on 4-7 September 2003 with the joint studies of Documentary Films Association, Underwater Research Society, Foça Local Agenda 21 and Foça Aqua Product Cooperative and the Foça Municipality. The festival commenced with the concert of Türkiye’s very famous group “Yeni Türkü” as well as competitions were also held and Fishermen & Sea films documentaries were shown from Türkiye and the world. The fourth festival was finally held on 2-5 September 2004 in Foça.


In 1991, 1992 and 1993 comprehensive information stands were opened by SAD-AFAG with strong teams in Foça Seal Festival in Foça, plays with nature conservation themes were exhibited and the local people were informed about the environment protection. Foça Municipality, Club Med and other tourism companies participated the festival with great enthusiasm. As a result of all these intense PA-EE activities an important background was built for the Aegean Program. Prof. Dr. Bahtiye Mursaloğlu had also been invited to the fetsivals and she made conference speeches on the conservation of monk seal and its habitat, that provided valuable insight especially for relecant governmental departments and the local administrators. Also SAD-AFAG members had great chances to make interviews and exchange of information with her on the occasion of these festivals. The Foça Monk Seal Festival continued under different names in the years between 1995 and 1998, which were also supported and participated by SAD-AFAG in close cooperation with Foça Municipality.

  • Henry Ford European Conservation Awards-1997: National Second Prize “The Clean-up Operation for Oil Pollution in Çavuş Island, Gümüşlük”  SAD-AFAG member Cem Orkun Kıraç.
  • Henry Ford European Conservation Awards  – 1998: National Awards 1st Prize “Conservation of Mediterranean monk seal in Türkiye; Foça Pilot Project” SAD-AFAG members Yalçın Savaş, Harun Güçlüsoy, Cem Orkun Kıraç and Foça public.
  • Henry Ford European Conservation Awards – 1998: European Grand Prix “Conservation of Mediterranean monk seal in Türkiye; Foça Pilot Project” SAD-AFAG members Yalçın Savaş, Harun Güçlüsoy, Cem Orkun Kıraç and Foça public.
  • World Environment Second Summit – 2002:  SAD-AFAG Foça Pilot Project is shown among the best 6 Application Project in Türkiye and presented to the world by the Turkish Ministry of Environment.
  • World Young Entrepreneurs JCI – 2000: In Environment Branch, the most successfull entrepreneur. SAD-AFAG Member Harun Güçlüsoy.
  • Lord Baden Powell Awards – 2007: Environment Protection Award for the contributions to nature protection in Türkiye SAD.
  • Lloyd List 2008 Türkiye Awards – 2008: “Rescue, rehabilitation and re-introduction of monk seal pup Badem” Special Award. SAD-AFAG