The Turkish Divers Club (TBK), Turkey's first underwater sports club, is organizing the International Marmara Underwater Days, starting from Thursday this week until Sept. 4. Professional divers and underwater photographers will dive off Kadıköy's Caddebostan coast, where the club is based. The four-day event aims to raise awareness of sea pollution.
"Initially, we organized a special event to help clean the sea with our members. It was in the 1980s and we cleaned a large pile of trash," Mehmet Nezih Saruhanoğlu, the club's chairman said, adding they have attracted a great deal of interest. Saruhanoğlu said that sea pollution can be underestimated because people are not fully aware of it as they do not see it very much. "Our activities have continued for the last 23 years and the festival marks its 16th anniversary this year," he added.
For the event, professional photographers dive and record certain parts of the sea. The program also covers an underwater photo exhibition and video screenings and an international jury committee that will assess the work. "I believe we will attract the same interest this year," Saruhanoğlu said. Apart from being an underwater sports club, the TBK also gives courses in synchronized swimming, oaring, windsurfing, underwater rugby and mono-fin swimming courses and has trained world champions. To help divers gain experience, daily or weekend diving tours are organized by trainers on a regular basis.