YILMAZ ÖZDİLRed mullet comes from Senegal.
Calamari is imported from India.
Octopus from Spain.
Schrims from Indonesia.
Grouper from Egypt.
Turbot from Romania
Some of the fish you eat in luxury hotels is actually shark imported from China. There shouldn’t be common sole in all seasons, but we have it because it comes either from Senegal in West Africa or Somalia in East Africa, depending on the season.
Mackarel comes from Norway.
They are being imported not just to eat, but even just to look at. For instance, 20,000 aquarium fish were recently caught in one of the trucks crossing the border that are supposed to be used by refugees.
We have extinguished 26 species of fish, there are 125 in the Marmara Sea. Mussels come from Chile.
Turkey is surrounded by sea on three sides. We have a sea that we call the Turkish swimming pool.
Our president went to Gabon, a country in Africa. During his official talks he walked on the beach of Gabon and met Ayao Nyavor a fisherman from the country. He then sent him a fishing boat and a fish net too, through the intermediary of our foreign minister, so that they can sell us striped red mullet.
We get fish from Morocco, Mauritius, from the Red Sea.
In 2010 an Icelandic volcano, dormant for 200 years, erupted, sending lava a hundred meters high. The fall out of volcanic ash affected the coasts, and mass deaths of fish took place. The fish were analyzed.
Chemicals and radioactive material harmful to humans were detected, and the whole world stopped fish imports from Iceland. But Turkey’s fish imports from Iceland increased 250 percent. The fish that was not bought by others, mostly somon, were made to be eaten by us.
Lobsters come from the United States and Canada.
We organize a festival for sardines, but these sardines come from Greece.
Well... Some people needed to stop all this.
Rolling up their sleeves to save the fish industry, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University went to Euphrates to find fish. They found one and called it “Recepi.”
If Abdullah Gül University finds “fetoli” in the Tigris River, then we will be saved.
*Yılmaz Özdil is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Jan. 24. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.