‘Senior citizens’ in Turkey’s Düzce have fun river rafting

‘Senior citizens’ in Turkey’s Düzce have fun river rafting

‘Senior citizens’ in Turkey’s Düzce have fun river rafting

Elderly people in northwestern Turkey met on Oct. 1 to celebrate the International Day for Older Persons by river rafting.

Men and women between 65 and 80 years old in Dokuzdeğirmen village of Düzce province wore helmets, life jackets and swimsuits for the event.

After a briefing on how to raft on the river, the seniors launched their boats into the river, where they rode the currents and turns.

“Sports have no age,” local professional rafter and representative of rafting sport in Düzce, Birol Tepe, told Anadolu Agency, adding: “One doesn’t need to be athletic to do sports. They may look old, but they are better than we are.”

One senior rafting aficionado, İsmet Sezgin, underlined that they did not feel old and had nothing to fear. He said: “If you want to remain young, you must work for it.”

Gönül Tepe, a grandmother and rafter, said she was 65 years old, but feels 45.

“We are not old and we do not feel old. Before coming here, I did all my work. And now, I’m going to the river. This happens thanks to the river and nature,” she added.

İrfan Yüksel, 67, also wanted to thank young people for the event.

“Thanks to the rafting organization, people began to know about our village. Young rafters cheered for our village,” he said.

Seniors who set pace

“Senior citizens” setting pace with their professional success, social activities, pioneering in a field and joy of life were awarded in a ceremony in Istanbul on Oct. 1.

The awards were given to 35 elderly people including actor Zafer Ergin and cartoonist Haslet Soyöz as part of the “Skills of Living Congress” organized by Seniors Council Association (TÜRYAK) at a hotel in Istanbul’s Maslak neighborhood.

“Growing old is not a period of being excluded [from society]; on the contrary, it is a period of wisdom in which the skills of living are performed masterly and the experiences gained during a productive lifetime are passed down to younger generations,” said TÜRYAK head Fügen Mavi.

“Lucky us, we have numerous examples of senior citizens who have become masters of culture, civilization, science, arts, education, communication and human soul in our republic which is almost nearing its centenary,” she added.

Turkey’s elderly population grew by 16 percent over the past five years, according to statistics released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) on March 18.

TÜİK stated that the population of people over 65 years of age in Turkey rose to 7,186,204 in 2018, up from 6,192,662 in 2014.