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Liberty Club Level3 Divers24

Discover the Wonders of Wreck Diving in Turkey!

Published: August 18, 2023 - 09:00
Updated: August 29, 2023 - 13:08
Discover the Wonders of Wreck Diving in Turkey!

Diving in Turkey, a hidden gem for wreck diving enthusiasts has finally unveiled its best-kept secrets beneath the waves.

Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to dive for the first time in Turkey and to be honest, my expectations were a bit skeptical. Having experienced Turkey’s rich culture, delectable cuisine, and warm hospitality before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from its diving scene. But little did I know, I was about to embark on a journey that would forever change my perception of Turkey as a diving destination. Joined by fellow divers from all corners of Europe, I was invited on behalf of the Gallipoli Historic Underwater Park to explore and evaluate the dive sites.

diving in turkey
Diving in Turkey proved to be a wonderful experience, Photo: Marcin Pawełczyk

 

As we set out on our adventure, anticipation mingled with curiosity, creating an electrifying atmosphere among our group. The Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park truly left us in awe as a one of rhe top spots for some best scuba diving in turkey. Stepping back in time, we dived into history as we explored the remains of ships that once played crucial roles in the legendary Gallipoli Campaign. These wrecks, now transformed into underwater museums, offered a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made during World War I. It was a humbling experience, diving among the remnants of history and paying tribute to those who came before us.

Kucukkemikli Barges

Our first dive was at Kucukkemikli Barges, located at Nibrunesi Point. Nestled in shallow waters with a sandy bottom, it provided a wonderful opportunity for an equipment check-up dive or even a photography session if you were keen on capturing the underwater spectacle. The Kucukkemikli Barges are not just ordinary wreck sites; they bear witness to a historical epoch. They were used to transport soldiers, food, and ammunition. Depth bottom 30m, barge deck around 24m, no currents or mild.

The Lundy

A fascinating relic of the past is one of the underwater treasures that await divers in Turkey. Built-in 1908 in Beverley, England, this vessel has an intriguing history. Originally a trawler, she was repurposed to serve as a minesweeper during the war, playing a vital role in ensuring safe passage for other vessels. The wreck now serves as a thriving habitat for marine life.

As you navigate around the wreck, you’ll encounter an array of sea creatures, including colorful nudibranchs. For underwater photography enthusiasts, the Lundy offers numerous opportunities to capture stunning underwater shots. One of the highlights is an anchor that rests on the deck, a poignant reminder of the vessel’s seafaring past.

diving in turkey lundy
I didn’t really knew what to expect from diving in Turkey, but Gallipoli turned out to be stunning, Photo: Marcin Pawełczyk

 

The HMS Louis

Once a mighty destroyer, now rests beneath the waves in Turkey as an intriguing dive site. Though what remains of this once-powerful vessel are just its steam engines, the site still offers an abundance of charm and historical appeal. Nestled at a depth of 13 meters, the HMS Louis wreck provides an excellent dive site for divers of all skill levels. However, it holds particular allure for beginners. The relatively shallow depth makes it easily accessible for novice divers, while the presence of the steam engines gives a tantalizing glimpse into the world of wreck diving.

Today, the Lundy rests peacefully at Seabad, her final resting place. With a depth of 27 meters at the seabed and 20 meters at the deck, she provides a captivating dive site. The wreck’s position, lying straight on the sandy bottom, offers a clear view of the vessel’s structure and makes it easily accessible for divers.

The HMS Majestic

Silent Sentinel of the Sea offers divers more than just an underwater exploration; it’s an immersive journey into history. This vessel, which now rests at a depth of 18-23 meters on a sandy seabed, is a testament to the tumultuous times of war. Built-in the late 19th century, the HMS Majestic was part of the Royal Navy’s Majestic-class battleships. She was a formidable presence on the waters, boasting 12-inch guns and robust armor. However, her fate was sealed during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I. On May 27, 1915, under the command of Captain H.F. G. Talbot, the Majestic was struck by a torpedo from a German U-boat and sank within seven minutes.

Today, the remains of the HMS Majestic provide a fascinating dive site. Despite the passage of time, the wreck retains a certain aura of majesty. As you navigate around the remnants, you’ll find yourself in the company of a variety of marine life, including nudibranchs and rays, which have made the wreck their home. One unique aspect of diving the HMS Majestic is the presence of ammunition scattered around the wreck. These relics of the past serve as a stark reminder of the vessel’s wartime role and add an extra layer of intrigue to the dive.

Exploring the HMS Majestic is akin to flipping through the pages of a history book. It’s a chance to come face-to-face with the remnants of a bygone era, to appreciate the resilience of nature, and to reflect on the profound impact of human actions on our world. After the dive, you can explore the museum in a lighthouse just by the dive site.

HMS Majestic
The wrecks of the sunken warships turned out to be magnificent, Photo: Marcin Pawełczyk

 

Immersing in the Depths of Time: The Tale of the Franco Cargo Ship Diving in Turkey on a different level

Submerged beneath the waves, the Franco cargo ship extends an open invitation to those brave enough to delve into its rich history. Spanning an impressive 120 meters in length and nestled at depths reaching up to 44 meters, this Greek cargo ship offers divers a unique window into the past. The Franco Shipping Group, founded by Dr. Achilles Frangistas in 1948, had a remarkable fleet of dry cargo ships. However, the Franco cargo ship’s journey was abruptly halted when it sank, leaving it to rest on the ocean floor.

franco wreck divers
After my time on Gallipoli, I am now intrigued by what diving in Turkey has more to offer, Photo: Marcin Pawełczyk

Now, it stands as a testament to maritime history, frozen in time, and shrouded in an aura of mystery. The ship’s propeller, still intact, whispers tales of its seafaring past, drawing divers into its captivating narrative. As you navigate around the wreckage, you’re not just exploring a shipwreck; you’re stepping into a historical tapestry woven with tales of naval trade and sea voyages. However, the Franco cargo ship dive is not for the faint-hearted.

The strong currents that swirl around the wreck add an element of adrenaline-fueled excitement to the experience, making it a thrilling dive for experienced divers. But, rest assured, the effort is well worth it. Descending towards the wreck, you’ll be greeted by stunning red coral formations that have claimed the Franco as their canvas. These vibrant ecosystems provide a striking contrast against the metallic grey of the wreck, creating a riot of colors that is a treat for the senses. This thriving marine habitat is a paradise for underwater photographers and nature lovers alike, offering countless opportunities for breathtaking shots.

diving in turkey cargo wreck
Diving in Turkey will live on in my memory for a long time, Photo: Marcin Pawełczyk

So, gear up and embark on an underwater adventure to the Franco cargo ship. As you explore this sunken treasure, let your imagination fill in the blanks, painting a vivid picture of its past glory. It’s not just a dive; it’s a journey through history, a tale of resilience, and a celebration of the enduring allure of the deep. Remember, though: always respect the tranquility of the wreck site and leave no trace behind. Let’s preserve this underwater heritage site for future generations of divers to enjoy.

I can say without a doubt that the experience of diving in Turkey is phenomenal and unquestionably worth every mile traveled to get there!

Is the best diving in Turkey at Gallipoili? I really don’t know, but I do know that it is a place worth visiting underwater. So, if you’re a history enthusiast, a diving aficionado, or someone seeking a unique adventure, I highly recommend diving in turkey at GHUP. It’s not just about exploring the depths of the sea; it’s about connecting with the past, appreciating the present, and looking forward to what the future of underwater exploration holds. If you have any queries regarding the diving facilities, boats, or any other aspect of the GHUP, please feel free to reach out to me.

You can also contact the GHUP directly for more detailed information. We’re here to help make your diving experience as memorable as possible. Remember, every dive is a story waiting to be told. So, strap on your gear, take the plunge, and let the tales of Gallipoli Historic Underwater Park unfold before your eyes.

Title photo: Gonzalo Pérez Mata

Trailler: Sunk In Time Trailler I a film by Murathan Yildiz & Ali Sener

Check out the photogallery from our visit in Gallipoli Historic Underwater Park

 

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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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