Vehbi Koç Foundation Encyclopedia use cookies to give you the best experience. If you confirm, you will accept the use of cookies. Click for detailed information on the use of cookies.

DenizTemiz Association/TURMEPA

DenizTemiz Association/TURMEPA

DenizTemiz Association/TURMEPA

DenizTemiz Association/TURMEPA (TURKISH MARINE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION ASSOCIATION), non-governmental organization (NGO) that raises awareness of the importance of protecting the sea and beaches, aiming to ensure the seas surrounding Turkey are cleaner for future generations. It was founded in 1994 by the Chamber of Shipping together with committed volunteers and under the presidency of Rahmi M. Koç. Following a decision taken by the Council of Ministers in 2000, it acquired the status of a public interest association.
Following the publication of TURMEPA’s “Declaration of Marine Protection” in 1995, it received the support of international institutions like the United Nations Environment Program, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Club of Rome, achieving ISO 14001, the international certification for environmental management in 2011. As Turkey’s principal marine NGO, the organization has nearly 1,000 members, 350 of which are corporate; together with branch and regional coordinators and volunteers, it engages in work to sustain marine life in the 8,333-kilometer coastal strip which extends from Hopa to Iskenderun, including the islands.
Among the projects run by the association on protection, awareness and education is the Sea Ambassadors Community (DET), a network of student groups that promote environmental consciousness among young people. In 2017, the Vehbi Koç Foundation provided support for DET programs carried out by TURMEPA at 13 universities in 10 cities.
From 2010 to 2012, TURMEPA held the presidency of INTERMEPA, an umbrella association for all MEPAs, founded in 2006. The association is a member of the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE), which is a federation of Mediterranean NGOs working in the field of environment and sustainable development. The association publishes educational material and its quarterly DenizTemiz (CleanSea) magazine has a circulation of 5,000 people.

Dear Friends of the Sea,

History and progress have shown that countries, in their efforts to industrialize, have pushed respect for the environment into second place, prioritizing construction of new factories, increasing manufacturing and rapidly improving standards of living. Indeed, Turkey has taken the same path. Our seas are polluted, many species of fish are facing the threat of extinction, marine plants have been lost, and now the sea and the environment are not too happy with us.

Alarm bells began to ring in our ears 21 years ago, when developed countries embraced care and protection of the environment, making it a priority. We founded TURMEPA with a handful of friends and marine enthusiasts. Our purpose was to inform and warn our fellow citizens of all ages, and kindle a spark among the public.
We gave ourselves a 30-year deadline. Two thirds of that time has already passed. Despite this, we’re still swimming against the tide but at the same time growing stronger. Have we managed to reach the point that we've been aiming for? We haven’t reached it yet, but our fellow citizens, our government, our armed forces, our municipalities and those who rely on the sea for their livelihoods are gradually learning to respect the environment more.

It’s not possible for us to tackle a matter like this on our own and we know that; but our supporters are increasing every day. We’re pleased with this and are expanding the scope of our work as far as possible. If you too turn to the sea and give us your support, you can be another pinch of salt in this soup. And it’s not just about you: we want you to encourage other people to join us too.

This is the only way that we will be able to leave behind a clean, healthy world that future generations can be proud of.
Abadan Unat, Nermin

Political scientist who received the Vehbi Koç Award for education in 2012.