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About Explore Responsible Travel Charities & Projects Dekamer


Established in 2009, Dekamer is a small sea turtle research, rescue and rehabilitation centre. The centre treats and rehabilitates 15 – 20 turtles every year, which most commonly have injuries caused by fishing boat propellers or fishermen trying to get caught turtles out of their nets. As well as caring for injured turtles at the centre, they aim to educate the coastal communities in Turkey, including the fisherman, about the importance of their conservation work to the marine environment and protecting this endangered species. It’s estimated that only 3-5 out of every 1,000 turtle hatchlings will survive until adulthood, so the team are starting their work at the source by raising awareness on how to protect these delicate nests from human interference including reducing the use of vehicles, artificial lighting and beach equipment. 

For those hatchlings that make it into the ocean and have the poor fortune of being injured there are currently 4 permanent staff qualified to treat at the centre, supported by some 20 volunteers at any one time. These volunteers are also crucial to the project assisting with showing visitors around, tank cleaning, nightly patrols of the nesting beaches and basic research for the university. The charity is supported by Pamukkale University for research and education purposes but remains a small charity with big plans! Currently they can only treat basic wounds at the centre and hope to improve their facilities to include a sterile environment for surgery and an intensive care unit. Also they are trying to raise the funds to build a ‘closed area’ with the required technology to keep their water tanks warm enough for the turtles during the winter. 

Since they started in 2009 91 injured turtles have been brought into Dekamer, amazingly 47 of those have been nursed back to health and released into the sea, 10 are still at the centre and very sadly 34 of those turtles have died. We hope that our support will help them educate, protect and rehabilitate to their optimum! 

Our customers have the chance to visit the project during the Treasures of Turkey trip.

For more info please see here.

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