June 5 is marked by the United Nations as World Environment Day, a day set aside since 1974 to promote “worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.”

A number of official events have been organised for this week, starting with the opening ceremony and wreath laying at Fethiye Town Square and a presentation to the winners of a competition held in schools where pupils were asked to come up with ideas for ways to hep the environment.

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage

The highlight of the day was later in the evening when a very special boat was launched into the sea for the very first time…

“Beat Plastic Pollution”

Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2018, “Beat Plastic Pollution,” is a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time. The theme invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife – and our own health. While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over-reliant on single-use or disposable plastic – with severe environmental consequences.

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage
Volunteers collect garbage along the coast of Manila bay during the annual International Coastal Cleanup Day in Paranaque city, metro Manila, Philippines September 16, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Dünya Geridönüş – a maiden voyage

Kate and Şeref Topcu are passionate about protecting the environment and are always looking for ways to highlight and improve environmental issues. They are both an integral part of the Türkiye’yi Temiz Tut project.

Kate and Şeref are very keen to highlight the overuse of plastics, the pollution it causes and damage to the oceans and the Earth.

This years Beat Plastic Pollution theme gave them the perfect idea – to build a boat out of used plastic bottles.

And that’s just what they did…

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage
Kate and Şeref with Dünya Geridönüş

The five metre long boat took two months to build. Everything used was either found or recycled, in total 322 1.5 litre bottles, 302 0.5 litre bottles and 330 metres of abandoned fishing wire were collected and used to build the boat.

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage

Nothing new was used.

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage
Şeref and Yasemin building the frame

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyageWorld Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage

World Environment Day arrived, the boat, Dünya Geridönüş (World Recycling), was ready and the plan was to launch it into the sea at Şat Jetty in Çalış at sunset.

And again, that’s just what they did…

We’re going to let the photographs tell the rest of the story.

Arriving

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage
The boat arrived with a convoy of supporters including representatives from the Turkish Press
World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage
Isn’t she a beauty?
World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage
Dünya Geridönüş

Getting ready

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage

The maiden voyage of Dünya Geridönüş

The boat went into the water at 19:30 to rousing cheers from the crowd who came along to watch and support.

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage

Kaptan Yasemin was invited to be the first to take the boat out. Yasemin and her mum, Desree Sarıoğlu, both helped with the building of the boat.

Then it was Şeref’s turn. He told us he had always wanted to build a boat and this was a dream come true.

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage
Sailing into the sunset

What a successful evening

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage
A very happy Şeref enjoying the rest of the sunset

What’s next for Dünya Geridönüş?

Dünya Geridönüş is now on display in front of the Culture Centre in Fethiye where she will remain until the end of World Environment Week. After that she will be displayed in a permanent place – we’ll let you know where that will be.

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage
Dünya Geridönüş on display outside the Culture Centre in Fethiye

Thanks go to

Güvens Restaurant and Carole, Nil Bar and Angelöznur, Bambu Restaurant and individual supporters for collecting bottles

Boat building helpers, Lee Leverinton, Desree Sarioğlu and her daughter Yasemin. Advice and support Richard Oldham. Plus lots of support from Kate and Şeref’s lovely friends.

A final word from Kate and Şeref

“We really want to encourage people to stop using single use plastic and adopt a more healthy caring attitude towards our Earth and environment ??”

A word about Türkiye’yi Temiz Tut

The team were out and about on World Environment Day taking part in the events and Mick was out filming so watch out for lots more to come.

World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage
The Türkiye’yi Temiz Tut team with Fethiye Mayor, Behçet Saatcı.
Left to right: Süleyman Akbay, Mick Scarsbrook (Mick Amca), Behcet Saatcı, Kate Topcu, Lyn Ward, Şeref Topcu
World Environment Day - a ceremony, a competition and a maiden voyage
“Turkiye’yi Temiz Tut”

Click here for more information about Türkiye’yi Temiz Tut

 

 

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