Viktorya Babicheva, who arrived in the southern Turkish province of Antalya 14 years ago to study from Ukraine, is the architect of a growing movement comprising expat women who volunteer for cleaning up the resort city. Their unofficial “Clean Turkey” movement involves regular cleaning tours in the Mediterranean province, particularly in areas on hiking paths and parks.
Disturbed by the garbage left behind by others during her daily walks, Babicheva decided to carry a garbage bag with her whenever she goes around. Soon, her habit drew attention of her expat friends. When Babicheva established a social media group under the title of "Clean Turkey," she reached out to more people living in Antalya, from fellow Ukrainian nationals to expats from Russia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. Now, they come together for cleaning tours in the province.
“You see how much people pollute it when you spend more time in nature. Even in uninhabited places, there are too much garbage. I though I should do something about it,” Babicheva told the Anadolu Agency (AA) on Friday.
She is proud to have more people join her and also counts Turks among their volunteers. “We have now more than 500 volunteers across Antalya. We clean up every place and every kind of garbage,” she said. By “every kind” she means interesting garbage they came across in their cleaning tours, like TVs, smashed air-conditioners and tires. Volunteers also organize awareness training program for locals, particularly on recycling practices.