Friends of Gökova Akyaka

Report of Activities  2002


10. General Assembly 2000

Report of Activities for 2000

Dear Members,
Welcome to our 10th annual meeting. We are about to enter the 10th  period of our organization. From its establishment in 1991 to 2001, our region experienced great changes and our activities reflect these changes. We can say this year was quite busy and I know, I said the same thing last year, but as our activities increase, we get less and less time to do what we planned. Every year in August, while I am preparing the annual report and looking back to the previous year, I realize how full our agenda was.
This year we got 9 new members, even if it is not much, it seems we reached our membership potential. Unfortunately, every year we lose some members because they neglect to pay their dues and renew their membership.
Our 4th Chess tournament which is called "Cumhuriyet Kupasi (Republic Cup)", took place in October 1999 and was a very successful event. As usual, it was a beautiful presentation of our organization and our Akyaka. It was also an opportunity to meet many people. We  believe, to choose October for this annual tournament, was the right  decision and
we already have some applicants for the next year.
In 1999 we awarded medals to the people who helped after the earthquake disaster and gave financial help to the families who were affected by this disaster. We also collected donations from the public for the earthquake victims.
We thank Mr. Ahmet AKKOYUN, for providing us with 10 million Lira Youth Award, Mr. Nail CIFTCI, for his administrative contributions, and the families GENCEL and GURSOY, for opening their houses to us.
In addition, we collected and distributed donations for the families affected by the Marmara earthquake. These families were also provided with some of their daily needs. Based on a previous Association Board decision, our help was not predetermined cash donations, but material goods. We collected signatures for the goods distributed. Left over clothing was sent to the Association of Disabled in Sakarya, because their hopes and building were collapsed. Our contributions continued until May, and after that the “earth quake families” were able to manage by themselves.
In addition to helping earth quake victims, we have also contributed to the renovation of Akyaka military-police station by donating 50 million Lira worth of construction material. We would like to thank the officers of this station, for their sincere efforts to protect the wetlands.
Our contributions to BACEP reached to 10 million Lira and 4 of our members attended to the Yatagan Meeting in March.
In June, we couldn't attend Egirdir Meeting because of other issues. In November 1999, there was a major symposium called "Su Samuru'nun Turkiye'deki Durumu (Conditions of Otters in Turkey)", in Antalya. 4 members of our organization participated in this symposium. We gave a report on "Akyaka Su Samurlari (Akyaka Otters)". Our report, was also in the news media and got published in the "Tabiat ve Insan (Nature and Human)" magazine. We have also participated in a long interview organized and aired by TRT television.
Actually for this term, we can consider our media relations very successful. Our report for Antalya Symposium, was also published in media and aired in NTV's "Bu Topragin Sesi (Voice of Our Land)" program.  In May, I was invited to the Van University and my conference there attracted a lot of publicity. "Cagdas Marmaris (Modern Marmaris)"
news paper allotted a page for us.  June5, Dunya Cevre Gunu (World Environment Day), we had two pages in Milliyet News paper.  End of August, we had one page in Sabah Newspaper.  We were also recognized by the Yeni Asir (New Century) Newspaper.  National and local newspapers also reported our summer exhibitions.  We are convinced that, this term
we reached our goal in public relations.  Unfortunately, our half page add for the Akyaka Municipal Guide book, was not as we asked for. We are forced to sue the Marketing Agency responsible for this blunder. Our Association Board invited the new Ula Government official and his wife for a dinner. We visited the new governor of Mugla and some of his assistants.
Meanwhile, I would like to thank my friends in the Association Board for their regular and frequent meeting. We met at least once a month and our meetings were productive and friendly, thank you. I also would like to use this occasion to let you now about a special celebration for next year, the 10th year of our organization.
For the purpose of informing the public, results of a survey that we conducted at the beginning of the year,  appeared in our own printed 'Iste Gokova!(here is Gokova!)'news letter.  During the summer, we wanted to publish another issue of our news letter, but due to lack of articles we couldn't.  After the general meeting, we will start working on our news letters.
We did not change our mind,  about getting a place for our organization, and we inspected some buildings  and thought about what and how we can do.  After meeting our Lawyer and Mugla Emniyet Dernekler Burosu, we realized that the section of our constitution on opening a centre, is incomplete and inadequate. In its present form, we could only serve our
members, but not general public. To open our organization to the public and, if needed, to hire personal, we need to add two sections from the Turkish Civil Law.
It was indicated that our members are very busy during the summer months and for that reason the month of September is the best time for our Festivals.  Also, during summer, we are busy  auditing and meeting with our members.  We recommend changing the section 11 of our constitution as "General Membership Meeting will take place every other year in
September."  I hope you will support these changes with your votes.
On June 5, Dunya Cevre Gunu (World Environment Day), together with Akyaka Public School Staff and Students, we organized an Akyaka Region clean up campaign.  Later on, this event supported by the Akyaka Municipal government.  We collected 230 large bags of garbage.  On that day, Students and Teachers collected garbage instead of attending
classes and as a reward every student was given an educational book on environment.  We thank  Local Environment Director Mr. Sifting TURKEKUL who provided the colouring books for the junior students, Mr. Ali SAHIN, a member of our Association Board, who provided the soft drinks. The books for the senior students were purchased from Department
of Culture book store of the City of Mugla. There you can find a rich selection of books.
In the spring, we were invited by the Education Improvement Committee of the Town of Ula.  Hopefully, we will have frequent collaborations with the schools in that region.  To our first meeting, we took our proposal on the health of regional environment with great enthusiasm.
For different reasons, 'Uzun Yali Temiz Olsun' project which was supported by the small business community of Akyaka, could not be realized. We hope to start this event at a larger scale next year.
Let us see, what we can do together.
We are observing a positive development in the 'Akyaka Antik Eserleri Koruma' (antique remains protection) project. We started this project in 1966 by arranging the cleaning of Kaya Mezar (Rock tomb), putting a sign and installing a bench donated by Akbiyik family. We thank Akbiyik family, Mr. Hikmet OZ, Culture Director of Mugla, and Mr. Arif KUCUKCOBAN, assistant Director of the Museum of that time. We are hoping that we will progress with a greater speed for the inclusion of the Kale (Fortress) to the tourist sights and resurfacing of the 2nd Kaya Mezar which is buried under the road now.
For the first time in May at the Asayis Meeting (meeting of local officials), we talked about the debilitating and dangerous conditions of the old, but beautiful Akyaka Azmak Bridge. We presented a formal  request to the Municipality, offering the repair of this symbol of our region, through our organization. They responded by saying that they have the monetary means for the repair of the bridge themselves and they will do what is necessary at the end of the tourist season. Too bad...We suspect that a concrete bridge will replace the original wooden one and we informed Mugla Anitlar Kurulu and other official organizations about our suspicions.
We reported all the complaints about the spreading Akyaka garbage that reached us, to the City of Mugla Environment office, and also discussed with the director a project to recycle and separate waste.  We already have a waste recycling  project connected to our Blue Flag project. As you know, Akyaka public beach received the Blue Flag award, which represents a symbol
of international recognition.  Connected to all these, we experienced many mistakes that gave us a big headache. Unfortunately, the response to many of your questions is incomplete, because many of the conditions were not met by the responsible officials. One of conditions
is to cooperate with the local Civil organizations and together with them carry on activities connected to the Blue Flag. Up to this time, we did not receive any official response from Municipality, Turkish Environment Education Foundation, or OCK(S.P.A. national office).  This puzzles us, because at the beginning every one wanted to reach us, but after receiving the Blue Flag, they cut their connection with us. We send a letter of complaint to the Turkish Environment Education Foundation, outlining our concerns.
Also the friction between us and the Municipality regarding Stray animals, almost became an annual tradition and happened again this year.  They collected Stray Dogs to take them Marmaris Animal Shelter, however, we learned that they did not reach there.  To protest, we wrote a formal letter of complaint, asking the whereabouts of these Dogs.  Just like before, we did not get any response. We asked the government official in Ula for his help.
When we learned that our drinking water was polluted, we asked, City Health Director of Mugla, for information and for a solution of this problem.
We believe, the problems we face in our region could be solved without any friction with the official organizations, if we work as a team.
Unfortunately, sometimes, this does not happen as we wish.  With the initiative and support of the Governor of Mugla, we started collecting signatures for a petition, asking the systematic and organized implementation of the Environmental Laws.  In connection with that, we submitted an environment report and 150 signatures to several important official organizations.  Our survey is continuing and now it is also on our website.  In addition to that, for the purpose of publicizing across Turkey, we send a copy of our survey to Universities, Media organizations, associations dealing with the environmental issues.  We are happy to observe that general public shares our concerns about these environmental issues and see the need to bring an order to the way we deal with these issues.
Due to the efforts of our dedicated webmaster Thomas Schmitz, our website is very  successful. Thank you Thomas. Also we like to thank Halil Tourism Company, Mr. Kemal SAHIN, the owner of Cennet Restaurant, Server Tourism Company, Akyaka Gunes Tourism Company and Yucelen Tourism Company.
According to our statistics program, our website gets 500 visitors a day and this number increases every day. We also get emails from different corners of the world.
We had some missunderstandings with the 'Ozel Cevre Koruma' (National S.P.A office).organization but we are still hoping to get support for the 'Su Samuru Arastirma Projesi (Research on Otters Project)' that we planned. We contacted Underwater Research Organization (SAD-DEMAG) and together we are planning a major Otter research project.  In May, we invited 2 members of SAD-DEMAG from Ankara and for a week they have been our guests.  We discussed how to approach and manage such a large project on Otters.
Since this is going to be a long lasting and expensive project, we need to start the work by looking for  national and international sponsors . We also think that our sponsors should be knowledgeable and interested in our project and we believe 'Worldwide Fund For Nature', 'Greenpeace' are suitable for our cause.  We hope the Otters will be able to survive
until we complete our plans.
For the first time this year, Mr. Ahmet BASMAN's  Classical Turkish Music Choir approached us for a concert and it was a true team work and was very successful.  We thank the members of the choir and thank Mr. Ahmet BASMAN, for his extraordinary efforts.  Also, we thank to Mr. Hamdi YUCEL GURSOY, the owner of Yucelen Hotel, for hosting one more event for us and Mr. Nurullah GENCEL who is always involved in the
organization of these events.
Now talk about our Summer exhibition activities.  On May 19, National Youth and Sports holiday opened with  an ATATURK photograph exhibition, in Nail CAKIRHAN-Halet CAMBEL Cultur and Art Centre and attracted quite a number of visitors.  After that, Nail CAKIRHAN-Halet CAMBEL Culture and Art Centre was always busy.  At this centre, every other week another artist opened an exhibition  and these exhibitions attracted media and
public beyond our expectations. Some people applied well in advance, in January/February.  One more time, I would like to thank every one who made these exhibitions possible. Also, we thank Mr. Naci KAYA and Albert WENZEL, who donated a refrigerator to solve our soft drinks cooling problem.  People of the region is now fully aware of our art exhibitions, and they find out about the date and time by looking at our adds, although the Municipality does  not publicize these events.  We presented an official letter of complaint, outlining this problem, to the Ula Governor.
Finally, I would like to extend my thanks to Mr. Nail CAKIRHAN and Ms Halet CAMBEL.  We owe the success of all these activities to their continuous support.
We hope that you are pleased with our performance and approve our activities.  On behalf of the Association Board , I extend you my thanks and my regards.

Bahar Suseven

back to top