Diving in Turkey

Diving in Turkey

Diving in Turkey

Scuba diving in Turkey is being discovered by divers from all over the world. They come to explore some of the most dramatic underwater terrain and ancient history found anywhere on the planet. What keeps divers coming back year after year to what is fast becoming one of the best dive destinations in the world?

The warmth and clarity of the Mediterranean Sea along the southern coast of Turkey meets the expectations of divers of all levels. From resort dives to technical dives, scuba diving Turkey offers great opportunities for all divers.

Turkeys Underwater Wonderland

Amphora in Turkey

Beneath the surface of the Turkish waters are the remains of ancient civilizations. On almost every dive you can see pieces of broken amphora. There are many wrecks off the Turkish coast. Many of the older wrecks are protected and off limits to divers. Most of the more recent wrecks from WWI and WWII are open to divers.

Underwater archeologists have mapped over 125 shipwrecks in Turkish waters. Off the coast near Marmaris is the Glass Wreck which dates back to the 11th century. The Bronze Age Wreck, from the 12th century B.C., can be found in the waters near Bodrum. But the most famous ancient shipwreck can be found in the waters east of Kas. The "oldest intact shipwreck ever excavated", dates back to the 14th century B.C. and was found by sponge divers in 1982 off the Cape of Uluburan.

The excavation of the wreck began in 1984 and continued until 1994. After the ship was excavated, it was taken to the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology to be studied. There was an exact replica built and sunk in the spot where the ship was discovered. Replicas of the stone anchors and amphora were placed where the originals were found. When diving in Turkey, you can dive the spot where they found the worlds oldest shipwreck. This area is now an underwater archaeology park known as the "Arkeopark".

Turkey Scuba Diving

When scuba diving in Turkey you can explore wrecks from more recent times. In the Straits of Dardanelles and off the Gallipoli Peninsula divers can see the final resting place of British and French warships that sank during WWI. During WWII, there were several airplanes shot down over Turkish waters and are now great wreck dives. Probably the most famous airplane wreck to see for those scuba diving Turkey is in the waters just east of Kas. The wreck is an Italian fighter plane that lies at a depth of 175-210 feet (58-70 meters). Because of the depth this is a technical dive.

Because of the great underwater terrain, cave diving in Turkey has become popular. The Tunnel in Kas is just one example. This is a beautiful, half closed cave where many soft corals and small shrimp can be found on the walls and around the bottom edge of the cave. "Asia's largest cave" was discovered in Turkish waters on a diving expedition by a Turkish/American cave diving team.

Cave Diving in Turkey

Marine Life in Turkey

A large number of foreign species of fish are finding a home in the Mediterranean waters around the southern coast of Turkey. You will be surprised at how many of these fish are of indo-Pacific origin. There have been around two hundred different species identified in southern Turkish waters. These "lessepsian" species have found their way from the Red Sea, through the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean Sea.

Scuba Diving in Turkey

Marine life here follows a seasonal migration. One of the main reasons for these migrations is food resources. Unlike tropical seas where fish are everywhere, in Turkey you have to be in the right place at the right time. The best resource for finding where the fish are hanging out is the local fisherman. The locals say, "The more current there is, the more fish there will be".

When diving in Turkey you can see schools of yellow mouth barracuda, amber jacks, Mediterranean damsel fish, bonito, several varieties of grouper and European parrot fish, just to name a few. If you are real lucky, you might see dolphins, a Mediterranean monk seal, loggerhead turtles, octopus or maybe even a seahorse. Both the monk seal and the loggerhead turtle are protected.

Where and When to Scuba Dive Turkey

Scuba diving in Turkey has flourished as the tourist industry developed. There are many top scuba diving sites around Turkey. There are some dive sites in the Black Sea, but the most popular places to dive are on the southern Aegean and Mediterranean coast. Towns like Bodrum, Marmara, Fethiye, Kalkan, Kas and Antalya have major dive resorts. This area of the Turkish coast is considered to be in the top 100 best dive destinations in the world.

Scuba Diving Turkey

Because of the warm weather in the south of Turkey, diving can be done year round. The diving season starts in April and runs until October. This is when the water temperature is the warmest. The locals say the best time to dive is after the first rain in the fall (usually between late September and early October). This is when you can see the most fish.

The water temperature on the southern coast normally is 65 F (18 C) in April, 86 F (30 C) in August and 78 F (25 C) in late September and October. A 3mm shorty wetsuit is good for most divers in June, July and August. A 7mm semi-dry suit is recommended for the cooler months.

Traveling to Turkey

Kas Turkey Diving

Divers can find flights to Turkey originating in many major cities in European and the UK. These flights will take you to the airports in Dalaman, Bodrum or Antalya. For most foreign visitors an entry visa is required. This can be purchased when arriving at the airport. You can buy one for 15 euros just before you pass through passport control.

When leaving Turkey, allow yourself a little extra time. Security at the airports in Turkey is very tight and sometimes causes some delay.

If you have non-divers traveling with your group, there is plenty for them to do while you are enjoying your dive. They can visit historical sites, go sailing, sea kayaking or if they are really brave, they can try some paragliding. They can have some great fun while you scuba dive Turkey.

When you come diving in Turkey you will find yourself diving into a historical underwater wonderland.

We would like to take a moment to thank Geoff Dobson and the rest of the dive team at Kas Diving center for providing us with some great pictures and information about the diving around Kas. The pictures on this page where taken by Geoff while diving in Kas.

You can read about our diving experience in Kas on our Diving Holiday in Turkey page.

Diving In Kas Turkey

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