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Cyprus divided-island 14
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

Nicosia north, two Turkish boys walking in front of a house destroyed by the conflict in 1973.

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Cyprus divided-island 2
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

North Cyprus. Directions for Nicosia in the Turkish language.

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Cyprus divided-island 15
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

North Nicosia. An old tower under UN control.

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Cyprus divided-island 17
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

Mihalis, 48, runs a hotel near the buffer zone that needs urgent renovation. The price per room is 15 euro for the week end.

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Cyprus divided-island 4
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

North Nicosia, a child on a bicycle.

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Cyprus divided-island 16
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

Inside an old shop placed near the green line.

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Cyprus divided-island 7
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

The economic crisis that began in 2012 led to the sale of land and buildings at a price very favorable to foreign financial companies and groups. Only in 2013, the most difficult year in the history of Cyprus, the Chinese have invested 300 million euro in real estate.

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Cyprus divided-island 8
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

The authoritarian drift of Erdogan in Turkey worries and queries the Cypriot people about the progress achieved in terms of reunification and cooperation between the two republics in recent months.

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Cyprus divided-island 21
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

A turkish souvenir seller, in the Kyrenia's port.

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Cyprus divided-island 13
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

Kyrenia, North Cyprus, one of the many shops closed for years.

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Cyprus divided-island 10
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

North side of Nicosia. A graffiti depicting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president of Turkey.

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Cyprus divided-island 20
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

An elderly woman lights a candle in a church.
The Orthodox Christian community of Cyprus is one of the oldest in the world. They are the 80% of the island population.

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Cyprus divided-island 1
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

Nicosia South. Barriers to prevent access to the green line. Each year, according to UNFICYP reports, within the demilitarized area take place around a thousand accidents, from simple provocations to real shots of gunfire.

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Cyprus divided-island 3
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

Two Russian tourists walking through the streets of Paphos.

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Cyprus divided-island 12
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

Nicosia. One of the illegal access points to the buffer zones.

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Cyprus divided-island 6
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

The military cemetery Tymbos Makedonitissa of Nicosia. Inside there are the tombs of the Greek and Cypriot soldiers who were killed in the 1974 riots.

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Cyprus divided-island 25
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

The lighting of one of the mountains of the Turkish Cyprus, representing the turkish Cypriot flag.

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Cyprus divided-island 23
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

In Cyprus, the art of fishing still uses traditional methods; the collection of sponges is widely practiced throughout the island.

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Cyprus divided-island 19
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

Muslim women to Kyrenia market, in the north of Cyprus.

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Cyprus divided-island 9
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Aug 2016

A house destroyed in the Turkish part of Nicosia.

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Cyprus divided-island 18
Cyprus
By Mike
20 Jul 2016

Kyrenia. Two tourists posing in front of the statue of the national hero, the turkish Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

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Armenian-Egyptians Commemorate 'Genoc...
Cairo
By Mohamed AbouElenen
23 Apr 2015

Cairo, Egypt
April 23, 2015

Egyptians of Armenian descent commemorated the centenary anniversary of the massacres committed against their ancestors by the Ottoman Empire in the First World War. Dozens of spectators examined photographs, artifacts and books that tell the story of the mass killings in 1915 as well as the Armenian diaspora around the world. The exhibition was organized by The Armenian Club in Cairo.

The Armenian community in Egypt, which was formed mainly of people who fled the killings by Ottoman Turks, dwindled in the 1950s, as many non-Arabs left the country under the weight of nationalization policies conducted by President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Around 8,000 Armenians live in Egypt today according to an interviewed activist.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of young women in traditional Armenian garbs
Various of spectators examining artefacts that belonged to Armenian refugees
Various of event attendees eating traditional Armenian snacks

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Garen Garbouyan, A young Armenian-Egyptian taking part in commemoration
00:30 – 01:14
“This event is being held because April 24 is nearing. This year is the 100th anniversary of the genocide. On this occasion, we are holding several consecutive events. In this celebration, we are introducing people to the old four Arminian provinces. We are showing how people used to dress in each province, as well as what people there used to eat and the activities they did. I am here today because my ancestors fled the massacre and came by boats to Port Said.”

Various of embroidered artefacts
Tilt down of icon with inscription in Armenian

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Marlo Zamanian, Armenian-Egyptian attending the exhibition

01:35 – 01:52
“My mother’s grandfather was forced to flee in 1915. He fled the massacres; his parents were able to flee the massacres and eventually reached Egypt.”

Various/ Close-up of artefacts
Wide of spectator examining a poster
Close-up/ Zoom out of necklace
Various of map featuring the massacres against Armenians
Various of exhibited items

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Marlo Zamanian, Armenian-Egyptian attending the exhibition
02:41 – 03:16
“My mother says that her father used to say… [LAUGH] that on a day in April – on April 24, 1915 – that the Turks knocked on their door. They come from a province called Kharpet. The Turks knocked on their door and took my mother’s grandfather who never returned. They took him to an unknown location. This was their end. My mother’s grandmother was able to rescue her children. She had a boy and two girls. She was able to leave and take them with her.”

Various of photographs depicting people who were killed in the massacres
Various of exhibition items and photographs

Close-up of a comb. NAT Sound (Arabic) 03:56 – 04:04
“This is from 1909. Look at the design.”

Wide of two girls wearing traditional costumes and holding a metal artefact

Close-up of metal artefact. NAT Sound (Arabic) 04:09 – 04:14
"This is the goblet I was talking about. It was used to fill water.” Close-up pf traditional puppet

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Marlo Zamanian, Armenian-Egyptian attending the exhibition
04:21 – 04:42
“We thank Egypt as well as the entire Arab homeland. This was the closest area to us, the [Armenian] migrants. From the desert of Deir al-Zor, we entered Syria and Lebanon. Other people fled to Greece. I feel that Arab countries were more welcoming towards than Europe.”

Various of event attendees having traditional snacks
Various of books about the Armenian genocide

Cutaways of Armen Mazloumian, An Egyptian-Armenian activist working on commemorating the Armenian genocide

SOUNDBITE Armen Mazloumian, An Egyptian-Armenian activist working on commemorating the Armenian genocide
05:29 – 06:23
“My grandfather’s family was a leading a decent life in Turkey. They were among the prominent merchants who traded in figs and pureblood horses in Turkey. His father and brothers were all killed in the massacres. He was young and another family smuggled him to Greece. In Greece, he worked for several years at the harbour with Onassis. As you know, Onassis became one of the world’s billionaires. Afterwards, my grandfather came to Egypt where lived and worked. He owned Nassibian film studio.”

Cutaways of Armen Mazloumian, An Egyptian-Armenian activist working on commemorating the Armenian genocide

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Armen Mazloumian, An Egyptian-Armenian activist working on commemorating the Armenian genocide
06:24 – 06:48
“Currently, about 8,000 Armenians live in Egypt. Their number was more than 50,000 during the 1940s and 1950s, but most of them immigrated to Armenia -- they returned to Armenia – as well as Europe, America and Australia.”

Cutaways of Viken Gezmiziyan, The head of the Armenian Charitable Society in Cairo

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Viken Gezmiziyan, The head of the Armenian Charitable Society in Cairo
06:56 – 07:10
“The method to slaughter [Armenians] is the same as the one that is being deployed by ISIS. They were lined up and killed with knives. The target was extermination; to make that area devoid of Armenians.”

Cutaways of Viken Gezmiziyan, The head of the Armenian Charitable Society in Cairo

Wide of man contemplating ‘Genocide Map’

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Viken Gezmiziyan, The head of the Armenian Charitable Society in Cairo
07:25 – 07:50
“There are about 3 million people living in present-day Armenia, while 9 million [Armenians] live outside. These 9 million did not appear out of nowhere. Our ancestors fled Armenia, and therefore Armenians were displaced in the entire world. Yet, some say that the massacres did not take place. Each one of us Armenians has a story to tell and knows how his grandfather fled the massacres. We see this as a problem.”

Cutaways of Mohamad Rifaat al-Imam, Head of History Department at the University of Damanhour

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Mohamad Rifaat al-Imam, Head of History Department at the University of Damanhour
08:06 – 08:47

“The Armenian issue surfaced in 1878, as a result of Article 61 of the treaty of Berlin, which stipulated the implementation of reforms in ‘Armenistan’, or Ottoman Armenia in eastern Anatolia. Ottoman authorities refused to carry out these reforms. Armenians then had to resort to revolutionary action to pressure Europe and the Ottoman Empire to implement Article 61.”

Cutaways of Mohamad Rifaat al-Imam, Head of History Department at the University of Damanhour

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Mohamad Rifaat al-Imam, Head of History Department at the University of Damanhour
09:11 – 09:43
“If Turkey to recognizes the massacres, it would have to return eastern Anatolia as well as all the funds, the assets and real estates that were confiscated from Armenians. Turkey would have to spend huge amounts of money as indemnities to the Armenian people who succumbed to a genocide, which the entire world is heading to recognize.”

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Armenian 'Genocide' Survivors 100 Yea...
Yerevan
By Lorenzo Perrelli
14 Apr 2015

Armenia

April 24, 2015 marks the 100 year anniversary of the Armenian genocide. This collection of footage interviews some of the few remaining survivors of the genocide from their homes in Armenia. The interviews come at a time when Armenia and Armenians around the world are preparing to commemorate the centennial of the genocide. The commemoration is being help with the hope of keeping the fragile memory of the genocide alive and gaining recognition of the tragedy from Turkey and the international community.

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Turkey: Anti-ISIS Civilian Border Pat...
Turkey-Syria Border
By Ibrahim Karci
08 Feb 2015

From the beginning of the battle for Kobane, many volunteers from numerous districts around Turkey gathered in the villages close to the border to help patrol the border and prevent ISIS fighters from slipping in and out of Syria. Despite the fact that that Kurdish forces have now cleared Kobane of ISIS fighters, volunteers still patrol in the villages close to the border, fearing ISIS remnants will slip through.

TRANSCRIPT

Interview with Halit Çelikarslan – Villager
00.37– 00.50: Since the first day of the resistance, from different parts of Turkey, even from abroad, people came here, with the aim of helping the people resisting in Kobane.

00.52 – 00.56: We received help from them.

00.57 – 01.26: Usually young people and women were coming here. They worked united, stayed in tents for days in bad weather conditions and served the cause in many ways.

Interview with Emin Baran – Lawyer and Volunteer aid worker in Suruc
Journalist:
01.31 – 01.36: Why were the border patrols initially started?

Emin:
01.36 – 01.43 People were passing the border from Kobane to here, so people felt obligated to welcome them, since their passage was stopped frequently [by Turkish border patrols].
01.44 – 01.46 [Turkish] Soldiers tried to keep them in restricted areas.
01.47 – 01.53 Some of them [refugees] were injured. So, to have a front group on the border became necessary.
01.56 – 02.04 After the displacement came to the end, people kept patrolling in order to ensure that ISIS would not get help in Kobane.
02.05 – 02.10 Essentially, it was aimed to not letting ISIS gain strength in Kobane by using Turkish land.
02.18 – 02.28 The border patrols had two purposes. First, to show the people of Kobane that others are supporting them in their resistance.
02.29 – 02.35 Second, to narrow the movements of ISIS in Turkey. [Turkish] Soldiers blockaded the villages in which people were border guarding.
02.36 – 02.46 Every time the [Turkish] soldiers tried to force people to leave the [border] villages [which were located literally right beside ISIS held areas]. ISIS attacks gained enormous strength, immediately after.
02.47 – 02.50 Without exception, this happened each and every time.

Interview with Figen Yaşar-Mayor of Mus Bulanik from HDP
02.52 – 02.56 We initially came here during the beginning of the resistance in Kobane.
02.57 – 03.02 We first watched the border for seven days, during the peak of the clashes.
03.03 – 03.07 After, we went back to Muş and Bulanık, where we came.
03.09 – 03.16 During our second shift [on the border] we stayed here for nine days. Those days the clashes were really severe.
03.17 – 03.23 From Kobane to the air, smoke and fire clouds were raising.
03.24 – 03.30 We brought 12-13 martyr bodies to our village alone.
03.31 – 03.37 They were all the children of this land. Some of them joined to the war three months ago, some five months, and some six years.
03.39 – 03.46 Kobane has been cleansed [of ISIS fighters], but there are hundreds of villages connected to the Kobane [which ISIS controls].
03.47 – 04.02 Until the villages of Kobane are liberated, until the people of Kobane go back their homes and settle there, the people of Kurdistan and Turkey will guard and keep guarding.

Interview with Head of the security in the Village-(Name withheld)
04.07 – 04.13 I am responsible for the security of this district. I have been here for 95 days.
04.13 – 04.19 We explain to the border guards how to prevent ISIS from crossing.
04.20 – 04.23 Usually they cross from this district.
04.25 – 04.29 The ones who want to participate can easily cross the border.
04.30 – 04.36 As you see, that's the border for the guards. Between 6 pm and 6 am people [civilians] keep guarding.
04.38 – 04.42 There are other check points in other villages.
04.43 – 04.50 When they see them [refugees] from the distance, they inform us and we help them through.
04.54 – 04.57 The border guards notices us.
05.03 – 05.04 “hello” “hello”
05.10 – 05.11 Are taking over the shift?
05.11 – 05.12 Yes, two people in each shift.
05.19 – 05.20 Thank you.

05.28 – 05.29 We keep guard here, we can't leave.
05.29 – 05.31 We came for the shift change. You can leave now.

Filiz Aydın - Volunteer Watch Guard
05.34 – 05.42 We began guarding when ISIS come to Kobane. Not only in this village, but also in others.
05.43 – 05.55 The reason I keep guard is to prevent ISIS soldiers crossing the border. I also lost my brother at the war.
05.56 – 05.58 Not in Kobane, but in Rojava, in Serikani, I lost my brother.
05.59 – 06.04 My brother might be still alive if we watched the borders in Serikani.
06.06 – 06.14 It was his cause, and if we have the same cause, if we want his dreams to come true, we can also contribute.
06.15 – 06.25 Not everyone can get involved in armed battles in the mountains. Not everyone can fight in Kobane, but you can do whatever your hands find to do.
06.27 – 06.32 We say Kobane got liberated, but some of the villages are still under the siege.
06.33 – 06.39 Even if Kobane is cleansed [of ISIS], it's not just Kobane. Until Rojava gets liberated...
06.41 – 06.47 As I said it's not only about ISIS, it was first Al-Nusrah, Al-Qaida, and now ISIS.
06.48 – 06.54 There is Qamishle, Afrin... Until Rojava is completely cleansed,
06.55 – 07.05 Until the canton's [Rojava] political autonomy is recognized by the world, this is my opinion, the threat won't be defeated.

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Waiting Out the Siege: Kobane Refugee...
Seher Sokak No:34, 63800 Suruç/Şanlıurfa,Turkey
By Antoine E. R. Delaunay
02 Feb 2015

A photo reportage, realized at the end of November 2014, illustrating the challenging situation faced in the Kurdish city of Suruç and its region overwhelmed by Syrian refugees. Heavy fighting between Kurdish forces and Daesh have been raging inside the city of Kobane, located only a few kilometers away on the other side of the Turkish-Syrian border, for more than three months at that time.

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Turkey's Camel Wrestling Championship
Selcuk
By Michael Biach
17 Jan 2015

January 16-18, 2015

Selcuk, Turkey

In January each year there is the annual Camel Wrestling Championship held in Selcuk in Turkey. The event puts together two bull (male) camels with a female camel on heat nearby. The camels fight it out for the female, leaning on each other to push the other one down. It is most common in the Aegean region of Turkey, but is also found in the Marmara and Mediterranean regions of that country. There are an estimated 1200 camel wrestlers (or Tulu) in Turkey, bred specially for the competitions.

A camel can win a wrestling match in three ways: By making the other camel retreat, scream, or fall. The owner of a camel may also throw a rope into the field to declare a forfeit if he is concerned for the safety of his animal.

Camels wrestle with others in their same weight class. Camels have different tricks, and contest organizers match camels with different skills. Some camels wrestle from the right and some from the left; some trip the other with foot tricks ("çengelci"), and some trap their opponent's head under their chest and then try to sit ("bağcı"); some push their rivals to make them retreat ("tekçi").

A camel wrestling event involves considerable pomp and ceremony. The camels are decorated, and participate in a march through town followed by musicians on the day before the event. The actual wrestling can be somewhat underwhelming to someone not familiar with the intricacies, although onlookers must often flee from an oncoming camel that is retreating in defeat from his opponent.

In the heat of the tournament, camels spew foamy saliva in their excitement. Additionally, camels are retromingent animals, and so spectators would be advised to beware not only of flying saliva but of flying urine as well.

Popularity of the sport is declining, as the relative costs of caring for such an animal rises, as well as concern for the animals' welfare.

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Freediving kas turkey 01
Kas, Turkey
By Mark_Esplin
30 Sep 2014

Kaputas beach is one of Kas' main tourist attractions due to the colour of its beautiful warm water and pleasant sandy beach.

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Underwater High: Turkey's Female Free...
Kas, Turkey
By Mark_Esplin
29 Sep 2014

Kas, Turkey
September 29, 2014

As a child Sahika Ercumen had acute asthma. Her breathing difficulties were so bad that until age twelve she couldn’t do any physical activities and spent most of her time sat at home. Determined to confront her illness she went to her local swimming club and jumped into the water.

To everyone’s surprise Sahika was a natural swimmer. Like many young girls she had imagined life as a mermaid and her newfound love for water ultimately changed her life. “I felt I was diving in another world, in a dream world. It was so relaxing, so nice underwater. I hadn’t played sports until I was 12 years-old because of a sickness, so it was really a miracle for me.”

The swimming coach asked her to hold her breath and swim underwater. In her first attempt she out performed the club professionals and knew she wanted to dedicate her life to the sport. Through intense training, her physical strength improved, as did her immune system, until she was no longer affected by her asthma.

Sahika is now the leading female free diver with six world records including the women’s deepest return dive on a single breath – an astonishing 91 meters, shown in this video.

Freediving is an extreme sport in which participants swim for long distances underwater to exceptional depths, or for long periods of time, on a single breath without the use of scuba gear. Unsurprisingly it requires great physical and mental strength as Sahika explains, “After 20-30 meters your lungs are the size of a football, as the pressure increases they get smaller and smaller. By 30-40 meters your lungs are like tennis balls… Your veins too are getting smaller and your heart rate drops. The blood circulation moves to only your heart, brain and vital organs – there’s a big change [to your body].”

In this video Sahika Ercumen takes us deep underwater during a training session in the water off the beautiful town of Kas, along Turkey’s southern Antalya coast.

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Underwater High: Turkey's Female Free...
Kas
By Mark_Esplin
29 Sep 2014

Kas, Turkey
September 29, 2014

As a child Sahika Ercumen had acute asthma. Her breathing difficulties were so bad that until age twelve she couldn’t do any physical activities and spent most of her time sat at home. Determined to confront her illness she went to her local swimming club and jumped into the water.

To everyone’s surprise Sahika was a natural swimmer. Like many young girls she had imagined life as a mermaid and her newfound love for water ultimately changed her life. “I felt I was diving in another world, in a dream world. It was so relaxing, so nice underwater. I hadn’t played sports until I was 12 years-old because of a sickness, so it was really a miracle for me.”

The swimming coach asked her to hold her breath and swim underwater. In her first attempt she out performed the club professionals and knew she wanted to dedicate her life to the sport. Through intense training, her physical strength improved, as did her immune system, until she was no longer affected by her asthma.

Sahika is now the leading female free diver with six world records including the women’s deepest return dive on a single breath – an astonishing 91 meters.

Sahika also now trains and mentors aspiring new freedivers in workshops in the Turkish coastal town of Kas.

Freediving is an extreme sport in which participants swim for long distances underwater to exceptional depths, or for long periods of time, on a single breath without the use of scuba gear. Unsurprisingly it requires great physical and mental strength as Sahika explains, “After 20-30 meters your lungs are the size of a football, as the pressure increases they get smaller and smaller. By 30-40 meters your lungs are like tennis balls… Your veins too are getting smaller and your heart rate drops. The blood circulation moves to only your heart, brain and vital organs – there’s a big change [to your body].”

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Freediving kas turkey 07
Kas, Turkey
By Mark_Esplin
29 Sep 2014

Free Diving world record holder Sahika Ercumen during a training dive in Kas, Antalya, Southern Turkey.

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Freediving kas turkey 09
Kas, Turkey
By Mark_Esplin
29 Sep 2014

Free Diving record holder Sahika Ercumen surfaces after a training dive out at sea near Kas in Antalya, Turkey.

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Freediving kas turkey 12
Kas
By Mark_Esplin
28 Sep 2014

Free dive enthusiasts check out the action below as they wait their turn to dive during a workshop lead by Sahika Ercumen.

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Freediving kas turkey 02
Kas, Turkey
By Mark_Esplin
27 Sep 2014

Free Diving world record holder Sahika Ercumen leads a breathing workshop in Kas, Antalya, Southern Turkey.

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Freediving kas turkey 03
Kas, Turkey
By Mark_Esplin
27 Sep 2014

A student relaxes during a yoga session as part of a free diving workshop lead by Sahika Ercumen in Kas, Turkey.

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Freediving kas turkey 04
Kas, Turkey
By Mark_Esplin
27 Sep 2014

Sahika Ercumen teaches breathing exercises during a free diving workshop in Kas, Antalya, Southern Turkey.