We continue our round up of the local news from Fethiye, Muğla and surrounding area.

Cool Protest

Another protest about the planned damming of the Kargı River, that flows into the sea in Yanıklar village, took place this week. About 100 people took part, taking cooling dips in the river in between chanting slogans. Sounds like a very civilized way to protest.

Paragliding Flight Numbers May Not Hit Target

It was announced that a total of 20,000 paragliding flights from Babadağ took place in the first six months of this year.

This figure breaks down into 14,226 tandem flights and 6,125 single.

However, the target for the year is 60,000 flights and, even with the International Air Games in October it will be a struggle to reach the target, we feel.

One experienced pilot working for Easy Riders told local press:

“There are still unfortunate accidents on the mountain but only with solo paragliders, we have introduced stringent training for our tandem pilots and seem to have eliminated accidents when an experienced, trained pilot takes off with a passenger.”

He continued,

“The improvements to the road going up Babadağ mean we can now fit six flights into one day whereas before we could manage four.”

Euro – Trash Clean Up

An international student gathering took part in a clean up exercise in Fethiye this week.

Students from Holland, Germany, France, Macedonia and Luxembourg joined locals and, led by representatives from TEMA, the local environmental group, did a clean up exercise in two coves out beyond Letoonia resort.

The students filled twenty large rubbish bags which were then brought back to Fethiye for disposal.

Apparently they even found a duvet in the sea.

Two Die in Tandem Paraglider Crash

Sadly the long run of accident free tandem paragliding flights came to an end the day, after the Easy Riders spokesman made the statement reported above.

An experienced Turkish pilot, Osman Ersan 37, took off with 67-year-old British holidaymaker, Stephen Johnson, as his passenger and minutes later they both fell to their death on rocks below.

According to reports their parachute collapsed at 500m and went into spiral dive crashing onto rocks in a valley at the foot of the mountain.

Ersan was a professional tandem pilot with ten years experience and thousands of successful flights. He was also a member of the Pilots Union of Oludeniz. Married and father of 1 child.