The theme of this year’s competition is “Endangered Wildlife and Biodiversity.”
The monk seal on the PTT’s stamp is no ordinary one but the one that became a nationwide sensation when it was found injured and later saved in 2006.
SAD-AFAG, a group working for the protection of endangered Mediterranean monk seal and its habitat along Turkey coasts, took the animal under its protection.
Badem was later adopted by the late businessman Mustafa Koç.
After it was rehabilitated with Koç’s support, Badem was released back to nature in 2007.
Badem’s famous picture, which appeared on the stamp, was taken by photographer Cem Orkun Kıraç from SAD-AFAG, just before it returned to the sea.
Gamze Aksoy and Hülya Korkmaz worked on this photo and turned it into a drawing which now appears on the stamp.
“PTT wanted to use the photo I took in 2007. They did not use the photo itself but made an excellent drawing out of it,” Kıraç said, noting that he gave away the photo for free.
“Badem is a very precious animal to us. It was the first Mediterranean seal we rehabilitated,” Kıraç added.
Badem did not disappear under the sea when it was released back to nature, he recalled. “It dived, wandered around the shallow waters and came back and sat on pebbles, and I captured this famous moment which now appears on the stamp,” he said.
Hurriyet Daily News