Sport Diver - - Contents -

Si­mon Chance talks about the de­lights of div­ing Turkey and lists the lat­est MSDS, plus the lat­est news from Project AWARE.

Turkey has re­ceived a fair amount of cov­er­age re­cently, and not al­ways for the right rea­sons. As divers, we are used to look­ing be­neath the sur­face in more ways than one, how­ever, and in do­ing so we also see - pos­si­bly to a greater de­gree than many oth­ers - just how much this fas­ci­nat­ing coun­try has to of­fer ev­ery­one from the ca­sual tourist to the ex­treme ex­plorer. There’s the sub­merged ship­wrecks at Saros, Gokceada and Boz­caada, in the Sea of Mar­mara; the teem­ing tourist traps around Ke­mer and Kas; and even the bizarrely-named Big Bango near Bo­drum (it’s ac­tu­ally an hour or two away by boat, but the al­lit­er­a­tion was too tempt­ing to miss!) Cav­erns and caves, sharks and rays, seals and cetaceans, Turkey truly has so much go­ing on that it’s a nat­u­ral choice for around 30-40 mil­lion an­nu­ally, putting it squarely in the global tourism top ten. Fur­ther, be­sides the var­ied nat­u­ral dive sites to be sam­pled, the Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties have spent mil­lions of Lire in re­cent years to ex­tend the ever-pop­u­lar ar­ti­fi­cial wreck menu. Start­ing mod­estly with ten old trol­ley-bus bodies back in 1989, the pro­gramme has be­come way more am­bi­tious of late, with a num­ber of small aero­planes, then two de­com­mis­sioned war­ships near Bo­drum - one of which, the 37m Pi­nar 1, served the Turk­ish Navy for 80 years! - and, most re­cently, an al­most in­tact Air­bus A300 (wings and all), which has been ‘sent be­low’ to pro­vide a new divers’ play­ground off Kuşadası. It is also prob­a­bly true to say that co-op­er­a­tion be­tween the Turk­ish Un­der­wa­ter Sports Fed­er­a­tion - the Türkiye Sualtı Spor­ları Fed­erasy­onu, or TSSF - and PADI has never been greater than right now, with a June an­nounce­ment con­firm­ing that PADI In­struc­tors now no longer have to hold both a TSSF-CMAS cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, as well as their PADI cre­den­tials, to teach PADI cour­ses legally in Turkey. For PADI divers, the prac­ti­cal up­shot of this sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone should be an even wider cov­er­age of PADI cen­tres in Turkey, and a cor­re­spond­ingly wider avail­abil­ity of PADI cour­ses to be en­joyed in Turkey’s warm, wel­com­ing wa­ters. Turk­ish Un­der­wa­ter Sports Fed­er­a­tion Pres­i­dent, Sahin Ozen, Vice Pres­i­dent, Samil Ak­tas and the TSSF Board of Di­rec­tors all made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions in mak­ing this pro­to­col pos­si­ble, as­sisted by PADI Course Direc­tor and Ad­min­is­tra­tive Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Asu­tay Ak­bayir, who con­ducted key ne­go­ti­a­tions with TSSF-CMAS in co­or­di­na­tion with the PADI Of­fice here in Bris­tol. Go on - gob­ble up a slice of Turkey!

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