« A group of Istanbul locals decided to swim to work, for both exercise and to avoid a lengthy, congested commute, as seen in footage from the Turkish capital on Tuesday.
« We do this firstly as a sport and secondly to avoid traffic problems, » explained Mahmut Seckin, a Baklava maker. « You will get on Marmaray (railway in Istanbul), you will get on the ferry, there will be fog, rain, cancellation, etc. In order not to experience these, we jump into the sea from here, pass from Uskudar to Sarayburnu. »
Istanbul is split across both sides of the Bosphorus Strait. Footage shows Seckin and his friends changing into their swimwear and entering the water on the Asian side, as well as them emerging on the rocks on the European side.
« The traffic is unbearable, it really is a big problem. We’ll enter here with a few friends. We love Uskudar, we love Sarayburnu, we love the sea, » Seckin added.
Food wholesaler Cengizhan Sahin admitted that the swim had its risks, as setting off in the dark made it ‘difficult to spot ships crossing the Bosphorus’.
« We noticed a ship on the passage today, and after it passed, we continued to swim. Now we have reached Sarayburnu and it is time to get dressed and go to our workplace, » he added.
The distance across the Strait for the swim measures around 1-2 km. »