By Margaret Sheard..
On Saturday 8th June 2019 on World Oceans Day we went to the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel, Alsancak to visit the Meritta Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
Chris Elliott stayed at Merit Crystal Cove Hotel many years ago and was amazed at the fabulous garden area and we will take time soon to go back and explore and enjoy it.
Set alongside the garden area is the Meritta Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre where rescued sick and injured sea turtles are brought for treatment before they are returned to their natural habitat in the sea. Those turtles, which cannot be returned to the sea remain in the centre and receive continued care.
We met with two lovely Turkish ladies – Silem Kara, the Project Manager of the Centre and Sude Çelik, who works with her, and they were very helpful explaining about the centre and the work they do there. We had no idea that this rehabilitation centre existed and were very impressed with what we saw. Congratulations to the Merit Group for setting up this wonderful project at a time when sea pollution is causing severe problems for marine life.
Sea turtles have been in existence for over 100 million years as one of the oldest animal groups in the world. It is one of the creatures that lived in the same period with dinosaurs and managed to reach the present day with very few changes. The largest species of sea turtle, the skin-backed tortoise (Dermochelys coriacea), weighs more than 500 kg. They are among the largest reptiles known, with their lengths reaching 3 meters.
You can read more of the Meritta Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and find out how to support them by clicking here.