Paragliding grandmother becomes internet sensation

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ISTANBUL
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Halime Akcan, 87, shown in a video paragliding with her grandson, has become a social media sensation in Turkey. The video shared by Akcan's grandson has received more than half a million views on the internet.

Everything began when Akcan visited her grandson Günay Tutkun, 43, who is a paragliding pilot in the Fethiye district of Muğla province last year. Upon watching her son guiding tourists in the air, Akcan asked her grandson to take her to the cliff so they could paraglide. Tutkun was at first hesitant to grant the wish of his grandmother due to her age and the fact that she has difficulty walking.

After a long discussion, Tutkun decided to take Akcan to Babadağ, the famous paragliding parkour that attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists every year. During his grandmother's paragliding experience, Tutkun took a video and shared it online. In the video, Tutkun says that he learned how to fly from his grandmother while his grandmother conveys messages of love to her neighbors and relative back in their hometown of Denizli.

Although the video did not get much attention last year, Tutkun re-shared the video about two weeks ago and this time it became a social media hit. Speaking to the press, Akcan said the video went viral because of the traditional clothing his grandmother wore and her relaxed demeanor 1,500 meters above the ground.

"I gave the ropes which control the parachute to my grandmother for a while. It was quite a nice experience," Tutkun told the press. Stating that paragliding has no age limit, Tutkun said: "My oldest paraglider was 93 years old. One of my friends helped a 101-year-old elderly person to fly. Anyone from three to 103 years of age can try paragliding. It is a safe and entertaining sport. I invite everyone to Ölüdeniz to give it a try."

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