Diving is Freedom 2018-10-31T13:49:15+00:00


“Diving is Freedom” began in 1997 as a diving project for disabled people, inspired by the same slogan of Ercan Tutal and it is the first civil entrepreneurship project for disabled groups in Turkey. The seeding idea of “Diving is Freedom” stems from Ercan Tutal’s own observations from the period he lived abroad and witnessed the social inclusion of disabled people and their independence. He sought to see the same in Turkey and decided to act to integrate the disabled into society.

Project Objectives

  • To include disabled people in social life

  • To provide them with movement and accessibility

  • To increase the awareness in the society regarding disabilities

  • To improve the life quality of disabled people in their own environments/circles

  • To support their integration into social life

  • To improve the understanding and awareness about disabilities in the society

  • To increase sensitivity about these issues

Project Activities

Documentary about the Red Sea, Sharm El-Sheikh, Diving is Freedom – 2001
(won the first prize in the International Young Entrepreneurs Competition in Bulgaria)
A Life without Obstacles with Peugeot, Diving is Freedom – Kaş, October 5-8, 2013

A Brief History and An Overview of Our Solutions to Social Issues

Inspired by Jacques Cousteau’s documentary on the theme of the freeing quality of the oceans, our project is built on the idea that oceans and seas have a freeing quality for the disabled. Our project started in Bodrum, Turkey, then eventually moved it to Kaş, Antalya which is more suitable for this type of project.

Although the start of the project was an individual initiative, it grew to be a bigger project with the support of certain institutions and corporations (Turkish Underwater Sports Federation, diving schools, the foundations of the diving schools, local governments, hospitality specialists, hotel owners, the Coast Guard etc.) and the required infrastructure has been established. Diving is a difficult activity. At first, the medical and academic circles reacted to the project, and after a year, the weaknesses of the project have been improved, the deficiencies supplemented. Except for those with extreme mental disabilities or conditions not suitable for diving, about 3000 individuals with disabilities from all disability groups have tried diving and adopted the “Diving is Freedom” principle.


People who volunteer for the causes they believe are the leading and dynamic forces behind social change. Those who volunteer either for short or long term for a cause they believe in are the new models and modern knights of our age.

The volunteering schemes are the most important guarantee for sustainability of social change programs.

Project Deliverables

To increase the awareness about the project and taking volunteering to the next level we produced an underwater documentary called the Red Sea shot in the Sharm El-Sheikh coast in the Red Sea in 2001. The documentary achieved wide acclaim both nationwide and abroad and has been shown at various film festivals in special screenings.
Diving is Freedom and the Red Sea documentary helped gather the resources for Ercan Tutal’s next project, the Alternative Camp. We can say that a successful and sustainable first project has had a positive impact on the next ones.

10 volunteers who are Peugeot employees and distributors gathered for “Life without Barriers with Peugeot” and 10 individuals with different disabilities among which were members of Suat Ayöz Victims of Traffic Accidents Foundation, gathered for the “Diving is Freedom” event in October 5-8, 2013.

As an orthopedically handicapped individual I found that besides the feeling of freedom underwater and spending great time, the most valuable task was to remove the barriers in minds. The problem originates in the mind… Ayhan METİN




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