I was born in Istanbul in 1979. Like most of the kids who lived in the seaside districts I learnt to swim in the Bosporus. It might also be because of my Black sea heritage, but the sea is one of the things I can’t do without. My first experience of freediving, even if I didn’t know that was what I was doing, was as a child on family outings to the nearby Princess Islands. We had our own boat and would take it out on weekends for leisure trips and to go fishing. I have precious memories of the time I spent with my father onboard, and these experiences only increased my early love for the sea.
I used to line up the fish that he caught according to their size and try to secretly throw them back when he wasn’t looking. My interest in conservation began early!
Throughout my youth I played a lot of volleyball, and playing with Arcelik Sports club we won our first national championship. Sport is one of the things I have embraced to feel alive and complete in myself, and it is one of my enduring passions. During university I got a chance to try Scuba diving and fell in love again. I soon realized that I wanted to put it at the centre of my life. I worked as a Divemaster in Turkey, in Marmaris, Bodrum and Kaş. In fact it was all the motivation I needed to begin to travel further, and before I knew it I found myself in Thailand. For the time that I was there I worked in Koh Tao as a dive instructor and dive center manager. They were some of the best days of my life so far, and it was only after four years that I was able to part with my first tropical love to relocate to Indonesia. It was inevitable though, there was still so much ocean to discover.
I worked for 8 months as a dive shop manager there and it was during this time that I began to get interested in freediving as a sport, and as my interest grew I decided to train to be a teacher.
For me it was a perfect combination, one that represented my loves so well, and I decided to bring the combination of freediving, yoga and meditation back to my beloved Turkey. On my return I began Life Aquatic. It was an easy decision to base the school in Kaş, because its dive sites are unrivalled and because the harmony of life here fits the freediving philosophy so well. I was always saddened by the over commercialization of diving, small is beautiful!
I am the founder and principal teacher at Life Aquatic. I teach the SSI program level 1 to level 3 and also advanced breath and flexibility techniques, as well as preparing individualized training programs for those wishing to improve their freediving.