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WONDERS OF THE WATER WORLD
2002 / MARCH

I see the deep tranquil blue stretching into the distance beneath my feet and the sky above my head delicately touch on the horizon. On days when the horizon line is invisible they merge into a single blue expanse.
The first time I abandoned myself into the arms of that deep blue I felt an indescribable happiness. My first dive was at a sheer cliff that plunged into the sea. Seeing all the diverse living creatures of the sea at close quarters was an intoxicating experience. When I rose to the surface and climbed into the boat the meaning of blue had changed for me. It had become something to be cherished and treasured.
Surrounded by seas on three sides, Turkey offers endless possibilities for those who love the blue deep.

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WONDERS OF THE WATER WORLD
2002 / MARCH

The Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara and Black Seas are each quite different in character, both geographically and climatically. With its warm weather and sea temperatures, the Mediterranean naturally comes first for divers, particularly at Kaþ, where the sea is crystal clear and there are spectacular underwater sights. Caves, wrecks, reefs, canyons and walls are all to be found here, as well as ideal spots where the bottom is safe for learners.
Diving school boats go out for morning and afternoon sessions every day, and sometimes for night diving expeditions. Every time of day and each individual dive has its unique beauty.

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WONDERS OF THE WATER WORLD
2002 / MARCH
When you dive in the early morning light you are welcomed by even earlier risers than yourself: such fish as laos (Epinephelus aeneas), sar (Diplodus sargus), gobies (Gobius spp.) of two species known as kayasokar and papazbalýðý in Turkish, and the liche (Lichia amia). Depending on their level of skill and experience divers can explore wrecks of boats, ships and planes, caves, canyons and rock walls. At night the deep blue turns to black, and the divers' torches flicker like fireflies in the darkness. Many sea creatures sleep by night, so it is possible to get a closeup view of elusive fish that by day would be off in a flash at the approach of an intruder.
Whether by day or night, divers must faithfully follow safety rules and take equal care to preserve the underwater world. A careless kick from a flipper or knock from an air cylinder or other piece of equipment can damage coral that took 350-400 years to form.
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WONDERS OF THE WATER WORLD
2002 / MARCH

After years of diving around Kaþ, I know the underwater landscape here like the back of my hand; each cave, each hollow, each wreck, each spot where ancient amphoras lie on the seabed, and even the hiding places of each grouper. At the diving point of Fener I can watch the grouper we call Süleyman swimming with his relatives, or swim with a shoal of barracudas, fearsome in appearance but at the same time fascinating. In Hidayet Bay we visit the shy but quick tempered moray eels. We swim with the aloof but charming loggerhead turtles. In this beautiful alternative world, colours, movements and perspectives are endlessly enchanting and unforgettable.

* S. Ayhan Tunel is a photographer

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