Alper Sunaçoğlu, a veteran Turkish swimmer stated that he wants to swim from Smyrna to Athens in order to contribute to Greek-Turkish relations. However Sunaçoğlu didn’t receive the support he expected from the Swimming Federation in Turkey, so he is now directing his efforts towards Greece.
According to the Turkish newspaper Milliyet, Sunaçoğlu plans to make the trip from Smyrna to Athens swimming. His goal is to arrive in Athens, Greece on May 10, but the specific beach hasn’t been announced yet.
After his arrival in Athens he is supposed to reach Thessaloniki and the home of Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on May 19, 2014. He will make this journey running and cycling.
Sunaçoğlu said that he applied to the Turkish Swimming Federation for support in his trip but they didn’t agree to facilitate him. He continued: “It’s very important for me to be supported in such a difficult international task. They did not agree to support me so I asked for the help of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from Greek officials. It is very important that this trip ends on May 19, outside the home of Kemal Atatürk. There are many young people who wish to join me in this trip.”