Vivid world of Mediterranean Sea in book
The 640-kilometer coasts of the Mediterranean province of Antalya have great historical and ecological riches under water. Many colorful fish and marine species such as lapin, starfish, jellyfish, sea horse and others have been photographed for a book titled “Sualtı Cenneti Antalya” (Underwater Paradise Antalya.)
At the time of Governor Münir Karaloğlu, who is also a diving enthusiast, a book and a film titled “Underwater Paradise Antalya,” consisting of photographs and images of underwater cinematographer Tahsin Ceylan, was prepared in collaboration with the Chamber of Shipping’s (DTO) Antalya branch.
The film won the first prize in the professional category at the Paf Tachov Film Festival in the Czech Republic.
One of the alternative tourism types in Antalya, which is home to both historical wrecks and great biological richness under water, stands out as diving tourism. There are around 48 diving schools in the coastal districts and dozens of diving spots in the city.
Karaloğlu, who pioneered the underwater book and the film, also dived in Alanya, Kaş and Kekova in order to draw attention to diving tourism.
In Antalya, where some 350,000 dives took place in 2019, the figure fell by 60 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic. This year the goal is to reach higher figures.
Underwater cinematographer Ceylan photographed fish and marine species of interesting colors and shapes, which even a significant portion of the population of the city residents do not know about.
There are many hidden and colorful beauties in the Mediterranean. Among the fishes with magnificent colors and interesting shapes are lapin, parrotfish, rainbow wrasse, grouper, Mediterranean moray, bream and others.
[HH] Some 6,000 species on Turkish coasts
Stating that the seas around Turkey have differences in terms of geological and ecological features, Ceylan said, “It is reported that around 5,000 invertebrates, around 500 fish and 400 algae species live in these waters surrounding our country. Along with the sea turtles, sea birds and mammal species, such as whales, Mediterranean monk seal and dolphins, which are low in number, there are some 6,000 species living in Turkish seas.”
Pointing out that it is an undeniable fact that the seas of Turkey are constantly getting poorer ecologically, Ceylan said that there are around 17,000 marine species in the Mediterranean and 1,700 of them are endemic species.
“The number of endemic marine fish in our coasts is only around 70-80. Here, it is possible to see how devotedly we need to protect marine life resources,” he added.
Stating that Antalya is one of the most important centers of the Mediterranean in terms of diving tourism, Ceylan said, “There are commercial diving centers and schools in almost all of its districts. Diving infrastructures and tourism-oriented service have made the region an attraction center. Diving lovers have the chance to meet blue waters 10 months of the year. Water temperatures drop to 16 degrees, which is the lowest level, in March-April. We took nearly 3,000 photos for the underwater book we prepared, and most of the diving spots are in this book.”
DTO Antalya President Ahmet Çetin noted that Kaş, Kemer, Side and Alanya are the leading diving centers in the city.
Stating that a total of 350,000 diving activities were realized in 2019, Çetin said, “Diving tourism is a very important in Antalya. These figures dropped in 2020 due to the pandemic, but we expect to reach the same figures of 2019 this year.”
Explaining that they provide great financial support to the underwater museums in Side and Kemer as DTO Antalya, Çetin said that the underwater museum, which is under construction in Kaş, was also supported by a great deal, and this museum will be completed by May.