People from all over the world are coming to Turkey to enjoy some of the world's best free diving centers and unique underwater activities.
Turkey became a leading nation in sea tourism after it established state-of-the-art scuba diving centers and hundreds of diving facilities over the last few years.The 254 diving centers in the country offer water sports to both tourists and locals, with 83 in the Mediterranean Sea region alone.
Kaş, Kemer, Çanakkale, Fethiye, Ayvalık, Antalya, Mersin and Bodrum are the most popular diving spots. Besides the diving centers, interest in Lake Van is also increasing daily.
Turkish Underwater Sports Federation (TSSF) President Şahin Özen told the Anadolu Agency (AA) that diving centers were playing an important role in boosting tourism.
"In the summer, tourists, diving enthusiasts and many people from different parts of the world come here to see our diving centers and the colorful underwater habitats. The interest grows every year," he said.
Özen added: "We have 254 active diving centers on our seaside and inland waters with hundreds of hard-working diving instructors and guides. Our instructors are very experienced and safe for dive training and offer international experience."
Turkey also has diving opportunities for disabled visitors with 52 specially trained instructors, Özen added.
The Kaş underwater activities center, established by the World Underwater Federation (CMAS) and the TSSF jointly, is considered one of the best in the world.
Özen said Kaş is a very popular destination for fans of underwater activities. "Kaş is home to some of the best free diving centers in the world and because of this, it hosts annual free diving championships. This year, athletes from 20 countries have entered their names to compete in the event.
"For the first time in the world, we hosted European and world free diving champions. Our emergency response system for the safety of diving athletes has been highly praised by the CMAS and other country's federations. In deep dives, in case of emergencies, we have a system that enables us to quickly raise the athletes by 1.5 meters through an emergency response button; we also have a special camera and guide cable system. We export this system to the world."