Although tensions are rising between the neighboring countries due to Turkish aggression and threats in the Eastern Mediterranean, residents of the Turkish seaport Datça recently sent a heartwarming message of peace to Greece.

Every year, athletes from Datça, a picturesque town in Turkey, participate in a swimming contest with their Greek neighbors from the island of Symi. Swimmers from both countries start off at their respective ports, and meet in the middle.

The tradition began nearly 20 years ago, but because of Covid-19, local leaders in Symi decided not to participate in the event this year.

The Mayor of Datça considered the competition an important tradition for the town, and chose to put it on anyway, despite the dearth of Greek swimmers.
On the day of the event, the Turkish swimmers who had decided to participate regardless of these unusual conditions sent a message of peace to their Greek friends, holding a banner that states “Peace will win” in Turkish, Greek, and English.

Swimmers from both countries hope that they can continue this longstanding show of friendship next year, under better circumstances in all respects.