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11 October 2017 / Lifestyle

Turkey’s Inspiring Guinness World Records

Turkey has many claims to fame, but their entries into the Guinness World Records are ones that deserve praise, no matter how bizarre some of them are. The annual publication features groundbreaking records made by humanity but also Mother Nature, and naturally, Turks are eager to get featured, sometimes even completing the weirdest tasks to get listed.

The latest application asking for recognition is from the Uzunkopru district in the Northwest, who hope to boost tourism with their world record. The name Uzunkopru translates into long bridge, reflecting the 1392-mile stone arch bridge running through the area, that is also Turkeys longest. The town previously applied to the Guinness Book of Records for the title of the world’s longest bridge, only to be told that there was a bridge in China that beat them.

Anybody who knows Turks well though will testify that when they get their heads around an idea, they will never let up. Hence the application has been resubmitted as the world’s longest bridge that also allows vehicles. The 15th-century Ottoman bridge also sits on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list, in the hope that when it gets improved, much-needed funding will be given to restore it.

Other Guinness World Records That Turkey Holds

The application by Uzunkopru is just one of hundreds of which many get refused, but others receive the seal of approval. Titles such as the world’s first female combat pilot were automatically awarded because the Guinness book of records was only born into the idea in 1955, but Sabiha Gokcen, who received the award had graced the skies in 1936.

Others are also forgone conclusions such as Turkey holds the record for the largest bread consumption per capita. Anyone who has spent time in Turkey will not be surprised that Guinness says every year, Turks eat more than three times their body weight in bread.

Likewise, Turkey holds the record for the largest attendance to a full breakfast. It does not take much persuading to get a Turk to pitch up for one of their favourite meals of the day, and in 2015, a staggering 51, 793 Turks ate breakfast together in the eastern region of Van. Other records are slightly more unusual though and in some cases, display Turks determination to succeed no matter what.


The World’s Longest Scuba Dive

Imagine spending eight days underwater with only scuba diving tanks for air. That is what Turkish diver Cem Karabay did in 2012 when he broke his earlier records set in 2009 by two days. A humongous pool continually holding a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius was specially made for the record.

During the time, Cem spent days riding an exercise bike, playing backgammon with other divers and he also bought a ring online for his wife. A team of twenty people changed his tanks for him, gave him massages and even bought food for him.

One rule is that the diver must stay completely submerged without coming to the surface so when Cem wanted to sleep, his tram placed weights on his back to stop him from floating up. Amazingly, after breaking the record, Cem also received a clean bill of health from doctors on standby.


The Largest Floating Human Logo

Breaking a record on your own is straightforward because you only count on yourself to rise to the occasion. However, getting 460 people together to break a world record takes a lot of organisation and patience.

In 2015, it was remarkable achieved within 5 minutes when the group of people, all wearing the same colour gathered together to form a floating logo in the sea of the international peace symbol. A Guinness book of records adjudicator automatically verified the record that took place on the 93rd Victory day of Turkey.

The World’s Tallest Female Teenager

Most people have already heard about the tallest man alive who is Sultan Kosen from the south-eastern Mardin district of Turkey. Measuring 2.51 meters, his world record enabled him to travel the globe for free, get life-changing surgery for free and he also married his 5-foot 8-inch Syrian girl friend to settle down for a life of married bliss.


Less talked about however is Rumeysa Gelgi, who is the world’s tallest female teenager standing at an impressive height of 7 feet and 9 inches. Coming from the Safranbolu district of northern Turkey, and bullied as a child, Rumeysa sees her stature as testimony that she is a special person. Doctors say Weaver’s Syndrome caused the unusual height growth, but Rumeysa eagerly pointed out the benefits such as looking down on people and being able to reach high heights.

The World’s Biggest Pilates Class

Joseph Pilates invented the physical system named after himself, as a method to fuse the mind and body together in graceful movement and coordination, but Joseph can move over because the Turks have pitched it up a notch by holding the largest Pilates class in history. In 2013, 3,486 people descended on the Aegean province of Denizli to move gracefully together in one massive demonstration class. We just can’t even imagine the organisation skills needed to pull off this feat. In 2007, Tel Aviv attempted to break this record but feel short of the numbers.


Erden Eruc and his Five-Year Record

Erden Eruc is a Turkish born American, but we feel his record deserves mentioning merely because of the determination and persistence he displayed, as well as the legacy he will leave behind. Erden was the first man to travel the globe solo using only human power.

In 2007, he set off from Bogeda bay in California and used just a rowboat, sea kayak and bicycle to travel around the globe. His journey took five years to complete, and in the process, he also set many ocean rowing records.

Having done what only a small amount of the population could do, it is hard not to admire Erden and his Guinness world record that we feel, won’t be beaten for quite a while to come.


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