TUI Turtle Aid MUĞLA

Nestled along the picturesque coastlines of Muğla, Turkey, where the pristine beauty of nature meets bustling tourist activity, the delicate balance of marine life, faces significant threats. This is especially the case for sea turtles, where the overlapping of their nesting and foraging habitats with tourist activities during the peak season not only disrupts the natural lifecycle of these creatures but also jeopardises their survival.

In partnership with the Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center DEKAMER, TUI Turtle Aid Muğla recognises the need for urgent intervention. This innovative conservation initiative is strategically positioned in key tourist destinations across Muğla, including, Bodrum, Marmaris, Datça, Köyceğiz, Dalaman, Ortaca, and Fethiye. It addresses and mitigates the impacts of human activities on the critical nesting and foraging grounds of sea turtles.

By integrating education, rehabilitation, and sustainable tourism practices, the project creates a more harmonious coexistence between visitors and the native marine populations.

TUI Turtle Aid Muğla safeguards the habitats of these endangered species and fosters environmental stewardship amongst local communities and tourists, ensuring the protection of sea turtles for generations to come.

In Muğla, Turkey, a significant environmental challenge emerges annually, due to the overlap of the region’s peak tourist season with the sea turtle nesting period. Muğla's beaches, known for their beauty and recreational offerings, are crucial nesting sites for endangered sea turtles, including Loggerhead and Green turtles. The influx of tourists leads to habitat disturbances, increased pollution, and higher risks of nest damage and disorientation of hatchlings due to light pollution. This situation threatens the survival of the turtles and the overall biodiversity of the area, making it essential to preserve this ecosystem to support local eco-tourism and global conservation goals.

TUI Turtle Aid Muğla addresses these challenges in several ways. It engages local schools, tourists, and businesses through workshops, seminars, and field trips, emphasising the importance of protecting sea turtles and their habitats.

It protects nesting sites by protecting nests and conducting nightly patrols to ensure the safety of the eggs and assist hatchlings in reaching the sea safely.

The initiative also partners with local tourism businesses to reduce their environmental impact and aligns with the TUI Care Foundation’s Turtle Aid Certification Programme, which puts in place guidelines that regulate lighting and beach access and educates visitors on responsible behaviour around nesting sites.

A rehabilitation center operated by DEKAMER treats injured sea turtles and educates the public about the challenges these animals face. Enhancements at the rehabilitation center aim to increase recovery rates for treated turtles and advance research into sea turtle conservation methods.

The project also involves local communities and stakeholders, educating 70.000 community members and tourists in marine conservation and turtle-friendly tourism.

Through enhanced protection and habitat conservation, the project expects to protect 30.000 hatchlings, supporting the growth of turtle populations in the Mediterranean.

TUI Turtle Aid is a global programme focused on the conservation of sea turtles. It leverages tourism to benefit wildlife conservation by supporting projects that protect sea turtles and their habitats, promote sustainable practices, enhance habitats, and raise public awareness on biodiversity and conservation.


DEKAMER is a Sea Turtle Research, Rescue, and Rehabilitation Center based in Muğla, Turkey, dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles. Established under the auspices of Pamukkale University, the non-profit organization operates at the forefront of marine research, rescue, and rehabilitation efforts.

The center's primary focus is on the study and protection of sea turtle populations in the Mediterranean, particularly those that nest along the Turkish coastline. Through its rehabilitation efforts, DEKAMER treats injured and sick sea turtles, returning them to their natural habitats whenever possible. The center also plays a pivotal role in educating the public and raising awareness about the challenges facing these endangered species, thereby fostering a culture of conservation and environmental stewardship. DEKAMER's work is instrumental in driving both local and international efforts towards sustainable marine and coastal ecosystem management.

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