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Old 03-08-2016, 06:28   #1
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More Turkey Problems

This was just posted on Noonsite. It is a report about the continuation of the dreaded Blue Card issues in Turkey. (Turkey —) Crazy stuff!

WARNING TO ALL YACHTS IN TURKEY!!!
We pumped out in Antalya on arrival last year, September, and left the marina, and Turkey, the next day for 7 months overseas. Our vessel was on the hardstand the entire time we were away. When we returned to Antalya, we anti-fouled and launched the boat, sailing from Antalya to the Datca area in June.

We have exceedingly large tanks that can hold for several weeks before needing to pump out. We proceeded to Datca to pump out but they did not have the correct fittings at their facility to perform a pumpout. We were told to come back in a week and it should be ok to pump out then. We still had enough room in tanks, approximately 85% full since leaving Antalya in June. We were grateful that we had large tanks. Amazingly, in all the travels we have had in Turkey, it is very rare to see any sizable vessel pumping out on shore anywhere.

The day before we were due to return to Datca to pump out, or attempt to pump out, the Coast Guard visited the anchorage, 10 NM east of Datca, and looked at our paperwork. As we had not pumped out since September, it appears they felt we must have pumped out somewhere other than at a designated facility. They did not take into account the boat was unattended on the hardstand in Antalya for 7 months. We subsequently acquired a letter from Setur Marina Antalya confirming this but Coast Guard officials were not interested in seeing the letter or hearing anything about it. We were told that it is deemed that the usage per person per day for waste water is 30 litres. That means they considered that we have 60 liters per day going into our tanks. That is absurd. The Coast Guard informed us that we should be pumping out EVERY 2 WEEKS!

In Datca we were told that we would not be authorized to leave Turkey without paying the fine. We paid to the tax office 9,500.25 TL!! Paying within 30 days gave us a 25% discount on the fine which was 12,267.00 TL ($4,100.00 USD)!!

We enquired about appealing the decision but were told by all we spoke to that no-one has ever been successful in appealing, regardless of the facts or proof of any kind that can prove nothing was done wrong. We enquired at Customs, Datca, regarding the appeals process and they would not inform us where to start apart from saying "Go see your agent". Our agent, the biggest in Datca, said it was a waste of time and money to even try.

We do not understand the paperwork as it is in Turkish. I refused to sign as I did not know the contents. The paperwork was written on the deck of a gulet anchored in the same bay on 11th July at 1430 hrs, which, according to the paperwork they presented was when the offense occurred, but we are not sure. The officials were told our tanks were just over just over 85% full at that time and I offered to show them but they were not interested. I informed the officials that we tried to pump out in Datca and was informed by the official that "It is not our problem!" We have subsequently found out that the Datca pump out facility has been inoperative for a long time. Therefore, perhaps, virtually all the boats in Datca may be contravening the laws.

BEWARE IF YOU PLAN TO VISIT TURKEY. MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR BLUE CARD SCANNED EVERY 2 WEEKS OR PAY A HEFTY FINE.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:56   #2
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Re: More Turkey Problems

Crazy.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:42   #3
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Re: More Turkey Problems

Oh dear, and Turkey wants to join the EU. This is third-world-tin-pot-dictator style incompetence/extortion.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:55   #4
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Re: More Turkey Problems

Is this for Black Water only or Grey Water too?
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:23   #5
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Re: More Turkey Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by poiu View Post
Oh dear, and Turkey wants to join the EU. This is third-world-tin-pot-dictator style incompetence/extortion.
I fully support the blue card scheme and I don't want to swim in the bays in the s...t of next boat. Moreover, this is a MARPOL regulation that 138 countries have agreed to. All civilised countries has the duty to keep their waters clean. Democracy doesn't mean that everyone can dump freely its s..t everywhere. Unfortunately, in most countries (eg. Australia) even a black water tank is still not compulsory and this is accepted as a valid excuse by authorities to dump their black waters into the see.

Said this, unfortunately the issue hasn't been properly managed by local authorities in Turkey. We have been dicussing this with coast guard authorities since the regulation was first implemented but only marginal improvement could be obtained so far. The main problem is that anything above 5 m floating in water is considered as a "ship" and the regulation is vague..

I will forward this complaint directly to the highest authority of coast guard (an admiral recently appointed and he's a sailor) who promissed to help sorting out these issues.

By law, all marinas and ports are obliged to have a pump out station and take the waste water against a fixed rate of 2 or 3 euros per cubic meter and scan the card. (100 liters make 0,2 euro..)
If they decline or not able to do this, call 158 (coast guard)
In Data port the coast guard is just 50 m in front of the docking pantoon. If this fellow had told them that they cannot pump out, the problem could have been avoided..

For those cruisers passing by Marmaris, we are more than happy to let them use our pumping station free of charge. Just send me a PM.

There is no such a rule that every two months one needs to pump out but I suggest that whenever it's possible have yr card scanned. Grey waters are out of this regulation but as a respect for others, I don't dump it either if I am on the anchorage in crowded bays.

Cheers

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Old 04-08-2016, 04:49   #6
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Re: More Turkey Problems

With the current post-coup environment and the ISIS threat making Turkey an unattractive destination for cruisers and tourists, the last thing they need to be doing is this sort of idiotic enforcement of the BlueCard system.

I support the idea of holding tanks for blackwater, but for small yachts with a handful of people I don't see the problem of dumping when sailing offshore a few miles. The coast guard should chill out and just make sure the tanks are used inshore and that the Gulets use the tanks and pump out.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:11   #7
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Re: More Turkey Problems

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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
I support the idea of holding tanks for blackwater, but for small yachts with a handful of people I don't see the problem of dumping when sailing offshore a few miles. The coast guard should chill out and just make sure the tanks are used inshore and that the Gulets use the tanks and pump out.
That's actually one of the problems..
Yes, Gulets are checked regularly and unlike sail boats they have adequate equipment for pumping out their waste. Some ports (like Data) just have a collector that can only be used by Gulets as sailing boats needs a station that can suck the waste from their tanks.

The enforcement is not idiotic but if you enforce such regulations, one has to make sure that the infrastructure is in place which actually is not the case.

Otherwise, ISIS terror is everywhere (unfortunately..) and I don't see what the "post coup environment" has to do with cruising in Turkey, particularly for foreigners.. Many state employees have been detained or fired but I haven't seen yet any cruiser being affected.

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Old 04-08-2016, 07:49   #8
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Re: More Turkey Problems

Just, don't swim in the fish piss, or diaper all your fish to prevent fish feces collection along the coast or in the marina.

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Old 04-08-2016, 08:34   #9
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Re: More Turkey Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
I fully support the blue card scheme and I don't want to swim in the bays in the s...t of next boat. Moreover, this is a MARPOL regulation that 138 countries have agreed to. All civilised countries has the duty to keep their waters clean. Democracy doesn't mean that everyone can dump freely its s..t everywhere. Unfortunately, in most countries (eg. Australia) even a black water tank is still not compulsory and this is accepted as a valid excuse by authorities to dump their black waters into the see.

Said this, unfortunately the issue hasn't been properly managed by local authorities in Turkey. We have been dicussing this with coast guard authorities since the regulation was first implemented but only marginal improvement could be obtained so far. The main problem is that anything above 5 m floating in water is considered as a "ship" and the regulation is vague..

I will forward this complaint directly to the highest authority of coast guard (an admiral recently appointed and he's a sailor) who promissed to help sorting out these issues.

Cheers

Yeloya
I wasn't criticising the policy, though I don't see why there is a problem with dumping out at sea, say 3 miles as they allow in the US. All bugs are killed fairly quickly by the salt and long before they can blow to shallow water.

Rather, I am criticising to levy a huge fine and secondly to do so in the absence of incontrovertible evidence of dumping sewage.

Good on you for reporting the abuse of due process and I hope the victim gets redress and the officers are disciplined/re-trained.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:03   #10
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Re: More Turkey Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
Otherwise, ISIS terror is everywhere (unfortunately..) and I don't see what the "post coup environment" has to do with cruising in Turkey, particularly for foreigners.. Many state employees have been detained or fired but I haven't seen yet any cruiser being affected.

Cheers

Yeloya
The problem with the "post coup environment" is not the reality on the ground, but the perception that there is a problem going to Turkey that keeps cruisers and tourists in general from going there.

The same applies with the ISIL threat. Again the reality might be that it's safer for cruisers than what people perceive.

In the "post coup environment" it's possible that it is harder and less attractive for ISIL to mount an attack on tourism and it is probably safer to cruise Turkey than it is France (when attending busy places on land)
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Old 04-08-2016, 21:01   #11
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Re: More Turkey Problems

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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
The problem with the "post coup environment" is not the reality on the ground, but the perception that there is a problem going to Turkey that keeps cruisers and tourists in general from going there.

The same applies with the ISIL threat. Again the reality might be that it's safer for cruisers than what people perceive.

In the "post coup environment" it's possible that it is harder and less attractive for ISIL to mount an attack on tourism and it is probably safer to cruise Turkey than it is France (when attending busy places on land)
I just don't see the citation without eye witnesses or video footage.
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Old 05-08-2016, 03:16   #12
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Re: More Turkey Problems

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Originally Posted by poiu View Post
I wasn't criticising the policy, though I don't see why there is a problem with dumping out at sea, say 3 miles as they allow in the US. All bugs are killed fairly quickly by the salt and long before they can blow to shallow water.

Rather, I am criticising to levy a huge fine and secondly to do so in the absence of incontrovertible evidence of dumping sewage.

Good on you for reporting the abuse of due process and I hope the victim gets redress and the officers are disciplined/re-trained.
Exactly, the 3mile rule addresses all safety considerations (actually it's a bit overkill). Unreasonable rules breed disrespect for the rules.

Draconian enforcement just encourages people to go elsewhere. Perception is reality in marketing and the reality is Turkey's tourism has cratered. The last thing they need is more bad PR.
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:10   #13
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Re: More Turkey Problems

We do have the occasional problem with over zealous authorities in Australia but I would much rather have a legal problem in Australia than Turkey and if you think antipollution laws do not get enforced in Australia well good luck on that one to mate.
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:31   #14
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Re: More Turkey Problems

Funny Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar all dump their waste right into the water. No hiding it. I would be hard pressed to believe other countries in the med don't do the same, and yes I understand Portugal is not technically in the med.

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Old 06-08-2016, 11:13   #15
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Re: More Turkey Problems

they paid $4000, ouch. Must have been very tempting to say "bollix to this" and disappear off to another port, or even Greece.

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