At Presidental Sailing Race, Gul warns against growing tanker traffic on Istanbul strait
In a ceremony at the Istanbul Sailing Club (IYK) in the city's Fenerbahce district, President Abdullah Gul yesterday officially started the Second Presidential Sailing Races. Speaking at the ceremony, Gul lamented how although Turkey is surrounded on three sides by water, Turks are not known as a seafaring or sea-loving people. Praising the IYK's efforts to change this situation, Gul said everyone should do their part to popularize the sea and sports among the people. "Football enjoys great popularity in Turkey, but there are other good sports," Gul said, praising how volleyball and basketball have gotten more interest in recent years. "Turkey is set to host World Basketball Championship, and I hope other sports will continue to attract greater popular attention." Gul also highlighted the growing threat from the ever-increasing petroleum tanker traffic on the Bosporus. Despite legal obstacles to taking action to reduce that traffic, environmental awareness, people's respect for the environment, and their sense of responsibility can help address problems that the law cannot, Gul said, calling on non-governmental organizations, environmental groups, and media outlets to be more sensitive to environmental issues. Gul also received an honorary IYK membership.