Every year, athletes from the Turkish town of Datça 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 and strained relations between Greece and Turkey, 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 absence of Greek swimmers.
“We are not on the side of war,” the Mayor said at the beginning of the event.
This was followed by Turkish swimmers, who had decided to still participate in the event, unfurling a banner which read ‘Peace will win’ in Turkish, Greek and English.
No response yet from the Greek side.