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National swimmer dedicates record to children in Gaza
Turkish national swimmer, Alper Sunaçoğlu, who welcomed with a swim the return of the ship Mavi Marmara , broke another record by swimming 30 kilometres in 2 hours 25 minutes from the Istanbul distric
Turkey 28.04.2011

The record attempt for the children of Gaza was a part of the 23 April Turkey's Children's Day celebrations . Alper Sunaçoğlu, a national marathon record holder in swimming and a high-performance athlete, has scored a new record by swimming across the Istanbul strait, the Bosphorus. The record attempt of Sunaçoğlu and his team started from Sarıyer pier under the supervision of the referees of Youth and Sports General Directorate. Sunaçoğlu broke the record by swimming 30 kilometers in 2 hours 25 minutes from the Istanbul district Sarıyer to Üsküdar, in water as cold as 6 degrees celsius. Kerem Arda, who directed the route in the water and acted as timekeeper, said, confidentlythat “Alper can break records by swimming anywhere as long as he is given the opportunity”.

Sunaçoğlu noted that he initially planned to swim from Egypt to Gaza on April 23 to be with the children there and he promised this when he welcomed the Mavi Marmara ship. However, due to conflicts in Egypt, he could not obtain necessary permits. Sunaçoğlu said “On this special day, we planned to be with children in Gaza, but could not receive the necessary permissions. Now I broke a new record in the strait, and I dedicate this record to the children who live in Gaza, which is the world's largest open air prison.”

The Record Breaking Swimmer welcomed the Mavi Marmara ship off Sarayburnu shores on 26 December 2010 with one of his teammates Kerem Arda, and accompanied the ship by swimming in -2 degree celsius water, for 5 km at the front of the ship. Sunaçoğlu had also broken another record by sminnimg non-stop without a cage from  Mersin in Turkey to Cyprus on 4 September 2010.

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