Crossing the Marmara Sea: European Bird Hunting Workshop, Turkey

A European Workshop entitled “The European Union and Turkey – What significance for hunting and game management?” was held in Bursa, northwestern Turkey on the 31 May & 1 June as part of the 5th Bursa Fair “Nature,Hunting” which attracts over 50,000 participants interested in hunting, angling, outdoor sports and other related activities. 


The Turkish Shooting and Hunting Federation (TAF) generously hosted the Workshop and Cemal Akcan, Director of the Game Management Department General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks and Atilla Tankut, Vice President of the TAF, invited the FACE Team from Brussels to Bursa for a dialogue resulting in a greater understanding on both sides. The 2-day Workshop was attended by TAF members and several government officials from the Turkish Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs.

The FACE Team detailed national profiles illustrating how hunting is organised, regulated and the diverse approaches to bird hunting across Europe. These were then contextualised with FACE presentations on the EU and international framework and guidelines for bird hunting; with the FACE experts drawing out aspects of particular relevance for bird hunting in Turkey. These profiles catalysed an interactive discussion with many questions and answers.

From the Turkish Ministry for Forestry and Water Affairs Mustafa Kantarli, Director of Surveys and Inventors Division, gave an excellent outline of hunting in Turkey. The former was very much aligned with FACE’s ethos: throughout the presentation Mr Kantarli emphasised that “sustainable management of wildlife resources depends on successful conservation” and outlined the conservation measures undertaken in his country. From the same Ministry, Sabati N. Akbaş, Director of Protection and Control Division at the Department of Game Management presented hunting legislation in Turkey.  The latter was met with great interest and questions from the participants as Turkey is in the process of reassessing its hunting law to ensure it is as optimal as possible for hunters, for nature and for wildlife.

The highly interactive nature of the workshop resulted in a valuable exchange and enhanced the mutual understanding of both FACE and hunting in Turkey, with the topics gaining most interest and discussion including regulation of bird hunting, hunting seasons, hunting licenses, gun restrictions and wildlife conservation issues. The broad array of interesting questions raised demonstrates the breadth of both hunting interest in Turkey but also the real engagement of the participants and desire to find out more about hunting beyond the country’s borders.

Celebrating their 90th Anniversary this year, TAF represents some 300 000 hunters in this vast country of impressive biodiversity including large species such as ibex, antelopes, wolf and bear. Since 1999 Turkey is an official candidate country for EU membership; the accession negotiations started in October 2005 with an ongoing analytical examination of the compatibility of Turkish and EU legislations, including the great variety of existing hunting-related EU legislation.

The FACE Team members who attended returned to Brussels inspired by the impressive organisation of the Workshop, the Turkish hunters’ enthusiasm to further develop their links with FACE and other European hunting organisations, as well as the beauty of the country and the Marmara Sea.

See the photos here.

See the presentation on Hunting in Turkey here.