Turkey has a rich flora and fauna, desirable climatic conditions and attractive geological formations ideal for tourism development, along with a rich historical and cultural heritage. Such a rich mix of human-made and natural endowments has contributed to Turkey’s international standing in the global tourism market in that it is now placed in the top 15 and 12 international tourist destinations in terms of international tourist arrivals and receipts, respectively. However, the rapid growth of mass tourism in Turkey since the mid-1980s has introduced a number of potentially serious environmental and socio-cultural problems. It is argued that if Turkey wishes to utilize tourism as an instrument for its economic, social and political development in the longer term, then more robust measures need to be adopted in order to achieve a more sustainable form of

tourism development and so reduce the negative impacts of tourism. Further ignorance of the principles of sustainable tourism development may degrade or alter the environment to such an extent that tourism itself will serve as a catalyst for its own downfall, endangering the future of both the tourism industry and national development in Turkey.