A message from our EVS volunteer in Turkey.
Mirta Kučić is our EVS volunteer who joined Turkish association T.E.A.M. to care for turtles and their habitats. To know more about what she and her fellow volunteers are doing, read her message below!
“The travel from the island of Losinj to start the project in Turkey began on February 1st. After several buses and flights I arrived in the South of that great state, in a small place called Kazanli on the Mediterranean coast. There, I met one of the leaders of NGO T.E.A.M., which has been implementing EVS projects since 2011. Volunteers from many countries meet here and jointly devise workshops, lectures, public events, and other activities to raise the awareness of the local population about the importance of the protection of the sea, the coast, and the turtles. Two species of turtles lay their eggs on Kazanli’s coast, but on the beach there is a lot of garbage: plastic, microplastics, fishing nets, ropes, shoes, medical waste, and large waste such as computer parts, wooden pallets, etc. Therefore, one of the main activities is the cleaning of the beach. The biggest problem is microplastics, as it is the most difficult thing to collect: combined with sand, algae, and vegetation, it becomes part of the beach. It poses a danger for many marine organisms because it can be easily be mistaken for food.
In addition, this place is known for greenhouses for vegetables, and during wind storms the plastic that covers them ends on the beaches. Apart from the mainland, pollution comes from irrigation systems, from factories, and from freights. In Turkey, there is a big probem with plastic toxicity, and the population is vulnerable. The fishermen are burning plastic on the beaches to warm themselves in the night without knowing that breathing the smoke can only damage their health. This is also the case for refugees from Syria and for poor people. People open the garbage bags during the night, and the plastic that has already been collected returns to the beach due to the wind. Local children are literally playing in the trash with garbage. Unfortunately, they never saw a clean beach since they were born. Is this the future we want for our children or is it time to do something?
Greetings from Turkey! “