Material and methods

1.1 Material

1.1.1 Research site

Amasra is a Western Black Sea coastal town in Bartin Province, Turkey. The town occupies a peninsula with two bays and extends toward north. Located 17 km away from Bartin, Amasra is a historic coastal residential area (Figure 1).

The town of Amasra is influenced by the Black Sea climate. The average annual temperature is 13.8 °C, annual precipitation 1035.22 mm and annual mean relative humidity 69.8 %. Northeaster blows from 15 October to 15 March and the town is also influenced by northerly, southwesterly and northwesterly winds (Anonymous, 2001).

In terms of flora, the research area is located in the sub-category of Eux of the Euro-Siberian region and in the A4 square according to the Davis grid system (Davis, 1988). Yatgin (1996) identified in a study on the flora of the region of Amasra 265 plant taxa belonging to 68 families. The dominant and characteristic species of the region are as follows: Carpinus betulus L. (Hornbeam), Castanea sativa Mili. (Anatolian chestnut), Fagus orientalis L. (Oriental Beech), Ostrya carpinifolia Scop. (European hophornbeam), Tilia argentea Desf. (Silver Lime). Also common in the Mediterranean maquis shrubland, the following shrubs constitute a major part of the coastal flora: Arbutus unedo L. (Strawberry Tree), Cistus creticus L. (Pink Rockrose), Cistus salvifolius L. (White Rockrose), Erica arborea L. (Tree Health), Juniperus oxycedrus (Prickly Juniper), Laurus nobilis L. (Bay Laurel), Myrtus communis L. (Myrtle), Phillyrea latifolia L. (Phillyrea), Rosa canina L. (Dog rose) and Spartium junceum L. (Weaver’s Broom). There are also shrub species that occur naturally in forests such as Cornus mas L. (European Cornel), Cornus sanguinea L. (Common Dogwood), Cotinus coggygria Scop. (Eurasian Smoketree), Crataegus monogyna Jacg. subsp. monogyna (Common Hawthorn), Corylus avellana L. (Common Hazel), Laurocerasus officinalis Roem. (Cherry Laurel), Ligustrum vulgare L. (Common privet) and Rhododendron ponticum L. (Common Rhododendron).

Amasra, originally called Sesamos, has a history of 3000 years. Amasra is an important historical town that has been able to preserve the architectural properties of the historical periods and the civilizations it hosted. It is as well an important harbor town that preserves the natural and cultural landscape of many civilizations (Sakaoglu, 1999; Sertkaya, 2001; Yazgan et al. 2005; Anonymous, 2005; Anonymous, 2007).

According to the population census of 2010, the total population of Amasra is 16.122, with the town population of 6.450 and village population of 9.784 (Anonymous, 2012a). During summer months, the population of the town is almost 40.000 due to tourists. Varying between summer and winter months due to tourism activities, population density of Amasra is 44 people per square kilometer. Population density of the central and coastal villages is more intense than the rest of the villages (Anonymous, 2012b).

The economy of Amasra is mostly based on coal production and tourism, whereas the economy of the inland villages on agriculture and animal husbandry. The coastal ones, in addition to agriculture and animal husbandry, are engaged in tourism (A§gioglu, 2001).

The growth of tourism in Amasra started in the period 1940-1960. In this period, the natural and cultural values of Amasra and its surroundings were discovered by local and foreign visitors. The tourism development period of 1960-1965 was marked with the increase in the number of visitors, and thus, tourism was considered a new source of income. It is also in this period that irregular urban development took place that negatively affected the development of tourism. After 1965, Amasra faced a decline in tourism activities (Sakaoglu, 1999). Nowadays, Amasra is one of the important regional (the Western Black Sea coastal area) and national point of attraction with its tourism potential.

1.2 Method

This study was conducted with a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis, questionnaires, field work and the review of the relevant literature. The data obtained were analyzed to give some suggestions.