British environmentalist June Haimoff, who was known as the “mother of Caretta caretta” for her massive efforts to protect the endangered species that lay eggs on the southwestern province of Muğla’s İztuzu beach, has died at the age of 100 due to organ failure.
Her wish to be buried in a Turkish cemetery following Islamic traditions was fulfilled, and she was laid to rest in the Çandır Cemetery in Muğla on April 24.
Born in Essex, England, in 1922, Haimoff first visited Turkey’s south in July 1975 with her boat and fell in love with nature, saying, “This is the most beautiful place on earth.”
Between 1975 and 1981, she occasionally stopped at İztuzu Beach, where she was called “Captain June” by locals. In 1984, she settled in a beach hut on Iztuzu and devoted her life to the protection of the Caretta carettas.
Haimoff was infected with coronavirus recently and was hospitalized. After treatment, she was discharged 10 days ago.
The environmentalist took Turkish citizenship and was named “Haziran,” which is the Turkish translation of “June,” her British name.
“Before her death, she asked us to bury her in Çandır Cemetary near the famous Rock Graves of Dalyan,” said Abidun Kurt, one of her Turkish friends. “We have fulfilled her last will following a funeral service held in a mosque.”
Hurriyet Daily News