Iztuzu Beach: Dalyan Turtle / Caretta Caretta Beach
Iztuzu Beach, with its clean and clear sea, the breeding ground of turtles, indispensable for tourists, among the best beaches in the world, has a wonderful 5 kilometer long beach. The presence of golden yellow grainy sands is a justifiable reason why it is popular with loggerhead turtles.
The area in Dalyan, where Ortaca and Arıkbaşı neighborhoods are located, was accumulated with sand and pebbles carried by Dalaman Stream. The great Rhodes earthquake in 226 BC caused the bed of the river to change and Iztuzu Beach was formed.
This change led to the formation of Iztuzu Lake, which combines the salty water of the Mediterranean Sea on one side of the beach and Sülüngür and Ala Lake on the other side. The sea, which does not exceed your height even if you go 50 meters away from the beach, can be calmer before noon than in the afternoon.
The furthest point where tour boats can go is a little further back from the channel where the Dalaman River flows into the sea next to Iztuzu Beach. Swimming is not allowed in this area due to the swamp formed by the accumulation of silt carried by the river in this area.
The western side of Dalyan, called Dalyanağzı Beach, can be reached by boat, while the eastern side, called Iztuzu Beach, can be reached by road. If you want to go to Iztuzu Beach with your private car, you have to overcome a 12 kilometer long, winding road accompanied by lake and forest views.
The beach in the middle of the two beaches is completely natural and untouched. Entrance to Iztuzu Beach is free and there is a large parking lot in front of it where you can park your car.
These sandy beaches within the borders of Dalyan, which are intertwined with nature, are operated by the municipality.
There are areas such as wooden buffets, toilets and changing cabins for personal needs on the beach, where construction is not allowed in order not to harm the natural environment.
Iztuzu Beach is one of the few breeding areas of loggerhead turtles in the world. This beach, where endangered caretta caretta turtles lay their eggs, is in a special protected area.
Caretta carettas, which do not lay their eggs anywhere other than where they are born and lay their eggs between April and July, feed on blue crabs served on boat tours.
The eggs laid in the holes they open on the beach have an incubation period of about 60 days. After maturing and breaking their eggs, the hatchlings wait in the sand for 26 hours and then come to the surface and start moving towards the first light they see.
At night, this light becomes their full moon and the full moon becomes their guide. Even so, they can be eaten by birds of prey or hungry marine animals. For this reason, very few of them survive.
Iztuzu Beach is closed from 20:00 in the evening until 08:00 in the morning between May and September because it is a breeding ground for loggerhead turtles.
Because the turtles that mate from April onwards can lay their eggs from May onwards. The places where the turtles lay their eggs are marked to prevent people from walking on them or sunbathing during the daytime.
You are kindly requested not to be within the line interval, which is determined by a wooden stake on one side and a rope on the other side, in order not to damage the turtle eggs. Pets are also not allowed on the beach in case they dig into the soil due to odors.
Right at the entrance of the beach is the Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (DEKAMER).
You can also help the rehabilitation center, which cares for and treats turtles that have had an accident, are in danger of drowning by eating garbage thrown into nature or have encountered an unfortunate situation. You can inform Dekamer by calling the Dekamer contact number 0252 289 0077 and save a life. For more information, visit Dekamer’s website.