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Posted by on Jan 1, 2020 in Sports |

How one man desires to convey extreme sports activities to Turkey

Cengiz Kocak, Turkey’s most prolific BASE jumper, has leapt off high-upward thrust buildings, phone towers and hills. He says he does it to remind himself that he’s no longer dead but. Next on his list is Istanbul’s ancient Galata Tower.ISTANBUL, Turkey — When Cengiz Kocak became seven years vintage, his father took him to a pageant in Ankara where navy planes flew lots of feet above the floor. At a few points, Kocak looked up at the clear blue sky and saw tiny dots, which the idea had been toys. They turned out to be skydivers. Their show mesmerised him.

The next day, he improvised a bed sheet for a parachute, climbed over the railing of the balcony of his parents’ 2d-ground rental and jumped. He woke up days later in a sanatorium, with non-lifestyles threatening injuries. Kocak, now forty-four, is a professional BASE jumper. BASE jumping is the extreme shape of parachuting that includes many risks and few rewards besides for what he says is, “an exhilarating feeling of being alive.”Over the years, he has amassed some 650 jumps.

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A BASE is an acronym for buildings, antennas, spans (every other phrase for bridges), and earth. High-upward push inns, mobile towers, hills and caves are known as ‘items’ by way of BASE jumpers, who visit intense lengths to climb and bounce from them.In Turkey, the trend is still new. Kocak, who says he’s the simplest expert BASE jumper within the country, wants to trade that. Kocak wants to create a map of journey spots in Turkey.

Lately, he has been making plans half a dozen jumps as part of an advertising campaign for the European Outdoor Film Tour, which celebrates severe sports activities. The first leap from the Galata Tower, the seven hundred-yr-old observatory, changed into purported to take vicinity on October 28, however, has been postponed due to terrible weather.If leaping from Dubai’s Burj Khalifah, the arena’s tallest constructing may be risky, then plunging down the Galata Tower is even more so. The height of the tower’s terrace, from where he’ll attempt the bounce, to the ground is most effective 37 metres, making it one of the lowest jumps for Kocak.

“You have handiest a split 2nd to open the parachute. Many things can move incorrect,” he says. He plans to land on a nearby avenue. His lowest bounce was from a cave known as Prohodna in Bulgaria. That became from a peak of 27 metres. “I will by no means try that again. That is something I can do just once in a lifetime.”This isn’t the first time a person could have used Galata Tower as a launchpad. Kocak desires to positioned Turkey’s maximum exciting places on the map of adventure sports.

In 1632, Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi, an Ottoman-technology scientist, is stated to have jumped off the tower. He then glided to the neighbourhood of Uskudar on a different facet of the Bosphorus Strait the use of a hen-like hold glider — making it records’ first intercontinental flight.The Bosphorus cuts thru Istanbul, dividing the city into European and Asian parts. Istanbul is the world’s most effective metropolis spread over two continents.

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Kocak says it’s not possible to make this type of lengthy flow in spite of twenty-first-century generation. “The high-quality gadget, the satisfactory drift ever invented, can provide a flight ratio of fifteen to at least one,” he says.That method the glider loses one metre in the peak for every 15 metres travelled in the air. “Considering the distance from the tower to Uskudar, that’s not possible.”Nevertheless, Kocak says he nonetheless considers Celebi to be the primary man or woman to have jumped from Galata. “I am happy with being the second one simplest in 385 years,” he says. As part of the movie excursion, his final leap will intention to emulate Celebi’s feat. But the simplest manner to do this is by using getting a lot elevation — much more than what Galata Tower offers.

To gain the goal of flying to Uskudar, he plans to leap from a peak of one,500 metres from a helicopter sporting a wing-fit (a wing-suit is complete-frame flying equipment which has sturdy cloth below the palms and among the legs). “I’ll flow right down to the tower’s height and are available very close to it at a pace of at remaining 200 kilometres in keeping with an hour. That’s the factor once I’ll set up the parachute and try to land on the other facet of the Bosphorus.”

Unlike skydivers, who’re equipped with a reserve parachute and right tools, BASE jumpers get their thrill via being prepared at the drop of a hat. “A BASE jumper is sort of a vagabond. I don’t abide by regulations. I am seeking out new gadgets to jump from anywhere I am journeying. These days, cellphone towers trap my attention,” Kocak says.

This rebelliousness is in stark assessment with the strict recurring of the army in which Kocak spent greater than 20 years as a skydiver for Turkey’s Airborne Brigade. During that length, he served in Afghanistan and Bosnia. “As an infant, my parents might hush me up on every occasion I mentioned my want to become a parachute. So I did the subsequent satisfactory component which changed into to enrol in the navy and do what I like most.”

Kocak have become a lively member of Turkey’s national skydiving group in 1998, clocking in extra than 6,000 skydives and a countrywide record for jumping from 25,000 feet without an oxygen mask. However, BASE leaping, which he professionally took up in 2011, required some drastic lifestyles changes. “I even have daughters. But the wedding didn’t close due to the fact I changed into rarely at domestic. Then in the future, my more youthful daughter didn’t realise who I became and referred to as my uncle. That’s once I advised my spouse we must separate.”

Kocak would not continually disclose the places of his leap off factors – in step with an unstated code among BASE jumpers.For an ultimate couple of years, he has been primarily living out of a minivan, which is simply huge enough to accommodate him. “If I had been just a few centimetres taller, it’d be not possible to stay in it,” he says with fun. Money, or instead, the shortage of it, is a steady hassle for BASE jumpers, he says. “I am on the move. I had been to many countries and often fellow jumpers have paid for my tour and resort.”

The primary supply of profits for BASE jumpers is sponsorship earnings.Kocak says even as he constantly searches for stimulating places to jump from, he keeps a number of the details to himself, in keeping with the code that jumpers observe around the world. Once he unearths an item, he jumps however by no means publicises its region. That’s a trendy practice among BASE jumpers who don’t want to draw a note of the authorities, which may implement regulations.

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Kocak says he has been to forty-three international locations, often not knowing how he’ll have the funds for the air tickets and other journey costs. One year, for instance, he accrued over eighty,000 kilometres in tour-time.He has additionally had his honest proportion of trouble for jumping without professional permission, a formality that BASE jumpers typically avoid due to the fact they understand they’ll nearly never get it.Once, this happened when Kocak was in Poland. “I went to this lodge and advised body of workers that I turned into looking for a room. I took the elevator, observed the roof and jumped. I was arrested and spent nights in prison.”