Scuba Diving in Turkey

Turkey is (Turkish: Türkiye) surrounded by water on three sides and is washed by four seas at once- the Aegean (Turkish: Ege Denizi), Black Sea, Mediterranean (Latin: Mare Mediterraneum), and Marble (Turkish: Marmara Denizi). Each sea has its own microclimate and character which affects the species diversity of the underwater world's inhabitants.
First of all, Turkey is about history. Ancient ruins cover not only its land. The water's surface hides traces of ancient civilizations, cities, frigates, ships, and airplanes. The ancient ruins amaze with their diversity- from the Stone Age to the Hittites, Greek and Roman cities, monuments of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires from the times of the Seljuks. Buried under the water's thickness, they are waiting for someone who dares to reveal all their secrets.
Now divers enjoy the popularity of the Mediterranean coast, with its mild climate and the choice of diving sites according to their interests: archeology, caves, coral, marine life.

Reasons to Visit

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Turkey is famous for its underwater structures. For connoisseurs of antiquity, Kekova Island (Turkish: Kekova) is a must-see, which is a favorite “pearl” of divers. The ancient cities of Kekova (Turkish: Kekova), Aperlae (Greek: Ἄπερλαα) and Simen (Turkish: Simen) went under the water during an earthquake. Now marble columns, statues, stairs, amphoras, walls of houses, remains of cobbled streets, ancient arches, embankment and jetty safely hidden at the bottom of the sea are waiting for new time travelers.
Divers will be interested to visit the Lighthouse Bay and Kirish Aquarium Bay where the cephalopods such as octopuses, cuttlefish, and squid usually rest. There is a shallow cave in Kabardzhik Bay (Turkish: Kabarcık) whose walls are overgrown with soft sponges. It's an ideal place for a novice cave diver.
There are interesting wrecks in Kemer (Turkish: Kemer) such as the ship “Paris” from World War I, which was found in 1995, and the Turkish Air Force aircraft the Dornier (German: Dornier), which was flooded in 2016. Despite the impact of sea water and algae, "Paris" is well preserved, so divers penetrate into the crew cabins and other rooms and take an exciting walk in time. They look at guns, torpedo tubes, and interior details.
Uch Adalar (Turkish: Uc Adalar) is another favorite place for divers. It's three islands, and no permanent transfer goes there. Only yachts go to the islands. Many fish live in this picturesque place, so it's possible to come across fur seals and dolphins flocks very often. Due to its location and calm water, this dive site is suitable for night diving and underwater photography.
Orak Island (Turkish: Orak Adasi) is known for its majestic wall not created by human hands that reaches a depth of 100 meters. While descending along it, you will see specific pockets in the frozen lava flows. Thickets of coral and sponges covering the rock in a solid carpet make the wall even more massive and impress with their appearance. This is where the parrotfish feed, but they are hunted by moray eels, which quickly hide in case a scuba diver gets close to them.

Diving Destinations in Turkey

There are 20 dive sites with stunning underwater landscapes in Fethiye (Turkish: Fethiye). Afkule Wall is the most prominent among them with an open cave which is a habitat for colorful fish and coral.
English, French and Turkish ships were flooded in the Dardanelles (Greek: Δαρδανλλαα, Δαρδανλια). The section to Suvla Bay is littered with fragments from World War I.
Marmaris is one of the best resorts in the country that attracts divers with its underwater caves and tunnels inhabited by barracudas, turtles, and dolphins.

Memo Notes
Currency TRY - Turkish Lira
Languages Turkish
Timezone UTC +2
Phone code 90
Emergency Help 112
Electricity

Type C - 220 V, 50 Hz

Type F - 220 V, 50 Hz

Dive Shops in Turkey

Diving centers are located in all major coastal cities of Turkey such as Alanya, Kemer, Antalya, Kas, Bodrum, Marmaris, and Side. Both beginners and experienced divers are taught, dives are organized as well as equipment and transport to the diving sites are provided in these centers.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

In March, it's rather cold in Turkey. The water temperature is +16 °C, but it rises up to +20 °C by May, and the air warms up to +30 °C. Rains are rare at this time. Diving season begins in late May.

Summer

The high season starts in June when the air warms up to 27-34 °C during the day, and sometimes even up to +37 °C. Water temperature is 23-28 °C. There is little rain at this time. You should be very careful not to get overheated during the daytime.

Autumn

The Indian Summer comes in September. The daily temperature drops to +30 °C in September, to +25 °C in October, and to +21 °C in November. But the water is still warm with the temperature of +20-25 °C. Starting in October, the cool rains begin.

Winter

In winter, the swimming season in Turkey ends. In January and February, the daytime temperature drops to +5 °C, and sometimes there are frosts at night. It often rains, and snow is rare. The water temperature doesn't go below +17 °C.

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The Best Dive Sites

The Amphora dive site was so named because of the ancient amphoras scattered across the sea bottom.
Broken Stone is a cave with coral formations that attract much fish. It is home to stingrays, sargocentrones, and black scorpionfish.
The Canyon is famous for ship wrecks. For example, a French ship with fallen off propellers lies here.

Health & Safety

The quality of medical services in Turkey varies but is still at a decent level. In some places, medical service is limited, and the ambulance comes for a fee. Before the trip, we recommend purchasing insurance and to get vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, the flu, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies.
In Turkey, the threat of terrorist acts is high. It is better not to travel to Ankara (Turkish: Ankara) and Istanbul (Turkish: Istanbul) as well as to southeastern provinces and cities close to the Syrian border.
Crime is at the average level. Be careful and don't walk alone at night, especially in the countryside. Petty theft takes place there. Keep your personal belongings in a safe place. Women are recommended to go out unaccompanied to avoid becoming victims of violence.

Dangerous Marine Life

There are dangerous inhabitants in the sea. There is a risk of stepping on a sea urchin on the underwater rocks. Whiptail stingray, armed with a poisoned spike, is waiting for careless divers in the Black Sea. A poisonous weeverfish is hiding in the sand. And meeting and contact with such jellyfish as chrysaora and Portuguese man o'war can provoke a severe skin reaction or even heart failure.

Eat & Drinks

Plenty of meat, vegetables, fruits, and sweets- that's exactly what the national cuisine of Turkey is. You should definitely try at least one local dish to get the full experience from exploring the country.
Adana kebab is very popular among tourists. Spicy, juicy, fried until golden crust minced meats smelling of spices and fragrant pepper is usually served on a platter together with vegetables, garnish, and crispy pita bread.
Musaka is another favorite Turkish dish. A casserole of minced meat soaked in aromatic spices, packed in a form of fried eggplants and filled with spicy cheese sauce will satisfy your hunger after a dive.
Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice is a popular Turkish drink which will rejuvenate and energize you with vitamins.
It's not recommended to drink tap water, it is better to buy bottled water.

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