Turkish world record holder to dive in sunken city to raise awareness for pollution
Hazal Özcan – ANKARA
Turkey’s multiple world-record holder and free-diving champion Şahika Ercümen is set to dive into a sunken city in the southeastern province of Şanlurfa’s Halfeti district to raise awareness for water pollution and to highlight the significance of recycling for environment conservation.
The dive, which will be carried out as part of an event by the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Turkey office, targets to underscore the role of local efforts in the solutions of global issues such as environmental pollution and climate crisis.
While drawing attention to environmental problems, the dive also aims to shed light on the importance of waste management in Turkey’s provinces, where the population increased significantly with the migration influx from Syria.
Aside from raising awareness to actualize the zero-waste notion and highlighting local efforts for waste management, the event also aims to strengthen and enhance the social cohesion between Syrians living in the region and the host communities.
UNDP’s project aims to improve the waste management activities of municipalities through capacity-building and by establishing a zero-waste management system.
The zero-waste project, introduced by First Lady Emine Erdoğan in 2007, is among the 2023 goals of Turkey. It oversees the most efficient use of resources in waste-management by preventing or minimizing the amount of waste generated in the country.
Ercümen, also the “Life Below Water Advocate” of UNDP Turkey, previously had dived into the Bosphorus to draw attention to plastic pollution.