Every year, hundreds are killed in drowning incidents across Turkey. As the summer season arrives, concerns are raised over the rise in the death toll.
Adnan Turgut, an associate professor at Akdeniz University in southern Turkey's Antalya, says nearly 10,000 people were killed in drowning incidents over the last 10 years. Turgut says the majority of victims are children and mostly males. According to statistics he compiled, Turgut says drownings peak in July and are relatively higher in June and August compared to other months of the year. He pointed out that these months correspond to a period where seaside visits, school trips et cetera are common.
Turgut says drownings in lakes, pools, artificial lakes, reservoirs and other artificial water masses are common in Turkey.
In May, 115 people drowned, the highest in the past five years, Turgut says. "The weather was not warm, not suitable for swimming but still, a large number of people drowned. Whereas, only 67 people drowned in May 2014," he said. Turgut underlined that drownings can only be prevented through a campaign to raise awareness and obligatory swimming lessons at schools as well as lifeguard lessons on how to save a drowning person.
Despite a ban in places dangerous for swimming, especially those with rip currents and pollution, drownings remain common in the summer months.