Haimoff worked for more than 25 years towards a
better protection of Sea Turtles,
mainly the Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Dalyan River
Basin. She has been supported by diverse groups and people over the
years, like Sir David Bellamy, DHKD, AGA, Blauer Kreis etc. One of her
main successes had been the abolishment of plans to build a big hotel
complex on Iztuzu Beach, one of Turkey's main breeding sites for
Loggerheads, in the late 1980's. As a consequence Dalyan/ Iztuzu became
part of the first ever designated Köyceğiz- Dalyan Specially Protected
Area (SEPA) by Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers (Decree Number
88/13019 dated 12.06.1988).
She has recently been
honoured for her strivings with an MBE.
Every movement toward
turtle protection in the region and all over Turkey is based on these
first efforts of one single woman.
Pamukkale University in Denizli created a Rehabilitation Centre,
neighbouring the PR facilities of the newly founded JUNE HAIMOFF SEA
TURTLE CONSERVATION FOUNDATION on Iztuzu Beach. While
is dealing with the research and rehabilitation side of turtle
protection, the KAPTAN JUNE SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION FOUNDATION
strives for the "greater picture", turtle habitat safety and protection,
awareness building, education and the necessary demonstrative and
practical pilot projects connected to these issues.
Kaptan June's long
standing wish for a legal entity to make sea turtle protection more
effective was fulfilled with the financial support of many friends and
great donations from TUI AG and Futouris. Thanks to these sponsors the
founders were able to acquire the legal assets required for the
establishment of a foundation.
(Diagram explaining the foundation's structure)
The Dalyan River and
its basin are highly tourism orientated and turtles are seen as a
commercially exploitable asset of the area. Sea Turtles are lured
upstream and fed with crab lines as an attraction, 'turtle feeding
tours' and 'turtle feeding restaurants' are on offer; decimating the
turtle and Blue Crab populations alike. This, together with the ever
increasing boat traffic on the river and in the delta leads to
increasing numbers of propeller-slashed turtles, turtles with
gastro-intestinal problems from ingested plastic bags and/or unsuitable
After getting the
founders together and the constitution set up, the founders finally met
at a notary office on November 11th 2010 to sign the papers.
The five founders are June Haimoff, Abidin Kurt, Yasemin Pakyürek, Yakup
Kaska and Bahar (Heike) Suseven. On February 24th, the
foundation was confirmed by court decision and published in the Resmi
Gazete on April 9th 2011.
Our first General
Meeting was held on May 6th, when the
Board of Directors and Finance Board
have been elected and some interested people became registered members.
Since then a great many things have happened:
Kaptan June's famous hut has been set up as a small centre for
public relations, information and fund raising. A group of volunteers is
helping out, manning the hut and cheerfully keep in contact with the
many visitors of the facility.
Kaptan June's MBE and the foundation of the JUNE HAIMOFF SEA
TURTLE CONSERVATION FOUNDATION have been celebrated with a cocktail
party, partly organised by the Municipality of Dalyan with contributions
from the British Embassy in Ankara. Participation was very good on this
cheerful event, among the guests were the British Ambassador, the
British Consul, the Governor of Muğla, District Governor of Ortaca, the
Mayors of Dalyan, Dalaman and Ortaca and a crowd of friends, visitors
and interested residents.
The press had a field day, too.
The first information leaflets have been prepared and
disseminated. More intricate info material is being designed in the
A work plan has been drawn, ingesting the 'lessons learned' from
the foundations first summer season and many tips and contributions from
the volunteers on the ground. Our strategies for the future are based on
this valuable input.
your ideas and comments, please visit our
Of course the management of the foundation is new and everybody
has to find his/her place first, but the board is meeting at least once
a month to discuss every aspect of the foundation make new plans and
implement the already existing ones for every month. The directors are
in very close contact with each other, the Supervision Board, members,
associates and volunteers.
Some ideas have already been converted into small projects and
sent to potential supporters. We are confident to find all necessary
contributions by and by, material and immaterial ones.
We are more than
hopeful, that we can contribute to a safer environment for the
Loggerhead Turtles and their breeding habitat. A contemporary protection
of species can only be an integrated effort and has ideally to include
their whole eco system. Since we can not protect these wanderers, once
they are on the move to other Mediterranean places, we can at least make
sure, that they can trust us and find their marine habitat in good shape
If you would like to
be involved in this worthwhile project, please contact: