2023 Edition

Özge Elif Kızıl

Ancient Sailors, 2021

Muğla, Turkey

Category - Humanity versus Nature

Ancient Sailors, 2021

In September 2021, a green sea turtle found by locals in the Fethiye region was brought to the Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (DEKAMER) at Iztuzu Beach. The injured turtle, named Ufuk Duru by its rescuers, was suffering from injuries caused by propellers striking it and by ingesting fishing line. A fishing line with 7 hooks was detected on the X-rays. The hooks were expected to decompose, but despite the treatment process, Ufuk Duru died in November. Turtles, which date back to 110 million years, were considered wise in mythology and their path was a guide for people. Finding their way by using the Earth’s magnetic field and following the moonlight make them the world’s most ancient sailors. Unfortunately, fishing activities, oil spills and pollution put the lives of sea turtles in danger daily in the Mediterranean, one of the fastest warming seas in the world. According to the information compiled from a variety of organisations in Turkey, an average of 205 sea turtles die each year.

35 mm f/1.4 Lens - 1/80 sec at f/2.2 ISO 250