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It was the rare Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) that helped to keep İztuzu Beach the beautiful natural and undeveloped beach which it still is, but there are far more reptiles to be seen in the area. The SEPA has no fewer than 33 reptile species, some of which are endangered or critically endangered.


In respect of Dalyan's natural, historical and cultural heritage

The SEPA boasts some endemic species as well of which the Lycian Salamander and the Turkish Sweetgum are among the best known.


SPA map

The township of Dalyan is situated in the the Köyceğiz-Dalyan Special Environmental Protection Area, which in fact was the very first protected area of its kind of Turkey. It got its protected status in June 1988, but in 1990 the original SEPA area was extended westwards.

The SEPA covers an area of 461 km2 and includes the Köyceğiz, Toparlar, Beyobaşı and Dalyan districts. There are 17 settlements of which Köyceğiz on the north bank of the lake, and Dalyan on the river emerging from the lake are the most important ones.

Because of its protected status, the area offers good and ample opportunities for sustainable tourism and recreation. The Köyceğiz-Dalyan SEPA boasts fantastic vistas and has a rich flora and fauna including a number of rare endemic species.

The area got its special status after fierce protests against the construction of a holiday village at İztuzu Beach. İztuzu Beach was and still is one of the main nesting areas for the endangered Loggerhead Turtle in the Mediterranean. Therefore environmentalists trying to preserve the turtle’s habitat called in the help of international organisations, such as the WWF and IUCN. In September 1987 the construction project was suspended to allow for an environmental impact assessment, and in 1988 the Turkish government decided to forbid development on the beach because of its special significance as a turtle habitat and because of the cultural and historical significance and the geological importance of the Dalyan-Köyceğiz hinterland.

Iztuzu vanaf radar station