On Tuesday 3rd July, Nick Baird, the British Ambassador to Turkey, arrived in Fethiye in support of Jason Hayward Jones the canoeist on his “Conquer the Coast” Expedition from Antakya to Istanbul.

On Tuesday 3rd July, Nick Baird, the British Ambassador to Turkey, arrived in Fethiye in support of Jason Hayward Jones the canoeist on his “Conquer the Coast” Expedition from Antakya to Istanbul.


Fethiye marked the halfway point on Jason’s epic trip around Turkey’s coastline; he started out 2 months ago and is ably assisted by Canip Baran, who devotedly canoes with him “When he can find someone to drive the support Land Rover”.

When asked “Why are you doing the trip?”, both Jason and Canip replied “Why not?”  More seriously however, together with SAD (Underwater Investigation and Research Organisation) they hope to bring attention to the rapidly changing coastline of Turkey.  SAD is calling for citizens to ‘own’ the coastline and they run projects such as shark protection, seal rescue and development of eco friendly diving sites.  Currently working nearer to Marmaris, they should be coming to Fethiye in September/October time  Both Jason and Canip remarked with some sadness as to how rapidly so much of the coastline is being concreted over.

{mosimage}Nick Baird enthusiastically joined the canoeists into Fethiye from the shore off Hillside and was not daunted by the cooling off dip he inadvertently took on the way; it just increased his admiration for Jason’s effort!

The reception, held at the Ece Saray Hotel, was also attended by Temel Ko栫lar, Regional Governor for Muğla, Hasan Karakaş, Fethiye’s local Governor and the local Chief of Police as well as the Consul and Environmental officer from the Embassy in Ankara and our local consular staff.

Canip addressed the meeting on behalf of the project and stated, that whilst promoting the best of tourism it was vital to remember to protect the environment and we have to work hard to keep that beautiful or the tourists will cease to want to come; not to mention of course the life and life support systems that need to be kept alive.  He said it was also vital that Governments work together to achieve these ends.

{mosimage}In his short address, The Ambassador Nick Baird estimated some 3,000 English have now settled in this area and appear to have integrated well.  He said friendships made at this level helps them to build greater understanding at higher levels.  He hoped that Jason’s project would bring real attention to the importance of protecting the marine environment the coastline and local cultures.


Temel Ko栫lar said that Muğla has 1,400 kilometres of coast line and hosts over a million visitors from England.  Turkey offers history, nature and the environment and we have to protect these for the future of all of us.

Jason, a British citizen, lives and works in Australia as a property developer: his wife is the Australian Deputy Ambassor to Turkey.  In two months time he hopes to arrive in Istanbul to complete his project – he just laughed when it was mentioned that there is more coastline in the Black Sea!

Click on the links for the SAD and the ‘own the coastline’ sites.

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