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Turkish tanks repurposed for divers

Turkish tanks repurposed for divers

A US-built tank from 1960 has been sunk as a diver attraction in 20m of water off Guvercin Island, near the Turkish Mediterranean resort of Kas.

The vehicle had previously been temporarily sunk to 5m in Kas marina, about a mile away, while awaiting the weather conditions necessary for the full sinking. It was lowered to the seabed with the aid of a battery of lift-bags.

The 45-ton, four-man tank had been procured by the Antalya Governor’s Office following its service with the Turkish army. Governor Münir Karaoğlu said that it would help to attract more tourists to the province.

“We’re trying to raise awareness of sub-aquatic life and draw attention to the beauty under water in Antalya,” he said.

Kas already provides access to a number of wrecks, some beyond normal recreational depths.

Diver Tahsin Ceylan, who photographed the sinking, observed that while the sinking of ships and aircraft as artificial reefs was familiar, the sinking of a tank was “an uncommon project”.

But not that uncommon – it seems that Turkey’s Ministry of Defence is having a clear-out of its storage facilities. Further along the coast at Marmaris, a 76-year-old Turkish M48 tank that saw service in WW2 has reportedly been donated to the resort by the ministry, and is to be sunk at a depth of 7m as an artificial reef and diver attraction.

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