The Kaptan June Turtle Foundation got a bit of a surprise recently. They have been stalwart supporters of disabled artist Gülay Çolak (from Okçular) by commissioning her to supply the Foundation’s museum and shop with some of her very special ‘turtle themed’ creations. The shop is hugely popular with visitors and the result is that Gülay has been able to generate some much-needed income from sales – a portion of which goes to the foundation to support their programmes to protect the endangered Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta).
Anyway, with the imminent start of the new tourist season Gülay, with a little help from friends, laid on a surprise presentation and cake fest for ‘Kaptan’ June Haimoff and some of her volunteers from the Turtle Foundation as a way to say ‘Thank you!’ for the support they have given to her and her daughter.
Gülay had created a charming little tableau depicting the famous İztuzu Beach at Dalyan and some of the man-made, life-threatening risks that face the magnificent Loggerheads (unguarded boat propellers; fishing lines and hooks; plastic bags, etc). I’ve known Kaptan June for a long time now and it is seldom that I have seen her as emotional and tear-streaked as she was that day. The tableau will have pride-of-place in the Kaptan June Turtle Foundation’s museum and shop. If you are visiting Dalyan you should go along to the beach and pay a visit – while you’re there you can give a bit of support to two very worthy causes by buying a souvenir or two.
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü