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About the Kaptan June Sea Turtle Conservation Foundation

June Haimoff worked for more than 25 years towards a better protection of Sea Turtles, mainly the Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Dalyan River Basin. She has been supported by diverse groups and people over the years, like Sir David Bellamy, DHKD, AGA etc. One of her main successes had been the abolishment of plans to build a big hotel complex on Iztuzu Beach, one of Turkey's main breeding sites for Loggerheads, in the late 1980's. As a consequence Dalyan/ Iztuzu became part of the first ever designated Köyceğiz- Dalyan Specially Protected Area (SEPA) by Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers (Decree Number 88/13019 dated 12.06.1988).

She was awarded an MBE in the Queens New Year Honours List of 2011.

Every movement toward turtle protection in the region and all over Turkey is based on these first efforts of one single woman.

Meanwhile the Pamukkale University in Denizli created a Rehabilitation Centre, neighbouring the PR facilities of the newly founded JUNE HAIMOFF SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION FOUNDATION on Iztuzu Beach. While DEKAMER is dealing with the research and rehabilitation side of turtle protection, the KAPTAN JUNE SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION FOUNDATION strives for the "greater picture", turtle habitat safety and protection, awareness building, education and the necessary demonstrative and practical pilot projects connected to these issues.

Kaptan June's long standing wish for a legal entity to make sea turtle protection more effective was fulfilled with the financial support of many friends and great donations from TUI AG and Futouris. Thanks to these sponsors the founders were able to acquire the legal assets required for the establishment of a foundation. 

(Diagram explaining the foundation's structure)


The Dalyan River and its basin are highly tourism orientated and turtles are seen as a commercially exploitable asset of the area. Sea Turtles are lured upstream and fed with crab lines as an attraction, 'turtle feeding tours' and 'turtle feeding restaurants' are on offer; decimating the turtle and Blue Crab populations alike. This, together with the ever increasing boat traffic on the river and in the delta leads to increasing numbers of propeller-slashed turtles, turtles with gastro-intestinal problems from ingested plastic bags and/or unsuitable food.  

The foundation aims to better this situation. Our vision can be read here and this diagram also explains our aims.

After getting the founders together and the constitution set up, the founders finally met at a notary office on November 11th 2010 to sign the papers. The five founders are June Haimoff, Abidin Kurt, Yasemin Pakyürek, Yakup Kaska and Bahar (Heike) Suseven. On February 24th, the foundation was confirmed by court decision and published in the Resmi Gazete on April 9th 2011. 

Our first General Meeting was held on May 6th, when the Board of Directors and Finance Board have been elected and some interested people became registered members. Since then a great many things have happened: 

Ø      Kaptan June's famous hut has been set up as a small centre for public relations, information and fund raising. A group of volunteers is helping out, manning the hut and cheerfully keep in contact with the many visitors of the facility.

Ø      Kaptan June's MBE and the foundation of the JUNE HAIMOFF SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION FOUNDATION have been celebrated with a cocktail party, partly organised by the Municipality of Dalyan with contributions from the British Embassy in Ankara. Participation was very good on this cheerful event, among the guests were the British Ambassador,  the British Consul, the Governor of Muğla, District Governor of Ortaca, the Mayors of Dalyan, Dalaman and Ortaca and a crowd of friends, visitors and interested residents.The press had a field day, too.

Ø      The first information leaflets have been prepared and disseminated. More intricate info material is being designed in the moment

Ø      A work plan has been drawn, ingesting the 'lessons learned' from the foundations first summer season and many tips and contributions from the volunteers on the ground. Our strategies for the future are based on this valuable input.

Ø      Of course the management of the foundation is new and everybody has to find his/her place first, but the board is meeting at least once a month to discuss every aspect of the foundation make new plans and implement the already existing ones for every month. The directors are in very close contact with each other, the Supervision Board, members, associates and volunteers.

Ø      Some ideas have already been converted into small projects and sent to potential supporters. We are confident to find all necessary contributions by and by, material and immaterial ones.

We are more than hopeful, that we can contribute to a safer environment for the Loggerhead Turtles and their breeding habitat. A contemporary protection of species can only be an integrated effort and has ideally to include their whole eco system. Since we can not protect these wanderers, once they are on the move to other Mediterranean places, we can at least make sure, that they can trust us and find their marine habitat in good shape and welcoming.

If you would like to be involved in this worthwhile project, please contact us:

- The Foundation at

June’s Diary

Hello Dear Friends of the Foundation,June Haimhoff

This has been an exciting winter here on the South Turkish Coat, Sunshine blessed us most days since November and daily temperatures have been up in the 30’s. My wardrobe is chaotic as summer clothes had been put away and replaced with winter gear, requiring lots of searching, unpacking accompanied by, in my case, cursing.


Remember Xmas! Our annual fair organised by King Emlak and other found us in shirt sleeves sipping iced drinks though the hot toddy stand enjoyed good sales nevertheless. A combination of Xmas lights reflected by dazzling sunshine made a great show… Tradition was not forgotten; mince pies donated by Greg and sausage rolls contributed by Kim and David were soon sold out. Out Kaptan June stall offered turtle inspired gifts and DOHAKDER Dalyan’s Cat and Dog Charity was colourful and lively.


Saw me visiting friends in Berlin and celebrating my birthday with red roses at breakfast and champagne at dinner. Bless my wonderful friends. Our Conversation Sea Turtle Foundation needs attention all year though our hut on the beach in only open from April till October. This Year’s continued fine weather gave us superb walks on the beach- a favourite event for dog-lovers and their pets.


My return from Berlin to Dalyan early February and received the usual welcome from my pets a fantastic feeling to hear there exciting barking and to enjoy even there jumping up and having a quick sniff at my luggage to see if I had brought them any goodies. Thank you Angel, Tosca, Treasure and new puppy Nar (pomegranate) for their welcome.


We await an early Easter whilst preparing to open our beach hut for a school’s visit in early April. All being quite demanding we need more volunteers to help at our beach hut as well as passing information to tourist- leaving brochures at hotels and pensions, also to persuade boat man to fit our propeller guard on their boats to save sea turtles from injury or worse. Sometimes I feel like a one-woman band without a conductor!!


Amazing changes have taken place in the garden since my return. The many oranges, grapefruits and lemon and now ready for picking and I enjoy plenty of fresh fruit juice whilst friends are invited round to pick the fruits for themselves. The days grow longer and wild flowers are in full splendour.

Time flies- Dalyan awaits another season; how will it be? Good we hope and I look forward to welcoming you dear friends stay well, warm wishes.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hello June
    We come to Dalyan every year and always come and see the Turtles and pay a visit to your hut, even my son and his wife and grand daughter come and every year and we always buy tee shirts and I just love reading your books.
    Last year we met you at the hut and had a lovely long talk with you it was so interesting what you were telling us we just cannot wait to come again this year so I hope to see you at the hut again.
    I have always said what a good job you are doing keep up the good work.
    Hope to see you in September.
    Regards Diane Hills

  2. Hello June
    We came to Turkey for our third visit in July we stay in Sarigerme and this year discovered your wonderful hut. We met Ann she is a credit to your cause. Ann told us about your amazing story we were moved to tears. I brought your first book and the children came away with some keepsakes. I would love to do anything I can to help you spread the word and feel it is really important that we do all we can to help protect these beautiful Turtles. I have emailed you to ask how we can help and look forward to receiving a reply.
    We will be back next year and hopefully all being well we could meet you in person.

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