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LONDON (14 January 2013) Sailing enthusiasts can enjoy a tradition of regular international boat races and festivals throughout the year while the more leisurely can discover the serene ‘Blue Cruise’ on a traditional wooden boat and a breathtaking coastline accessible only by boat. A multitude of anchoring points offer fantastic settings for snorkelling, swimming and diving, as well as the opportunity to explore secret bays, local fishing villages and vibrant resort towns.  

New marinas are opening all the time; the latest planned include for Dalaman on the Mediterranean coast, Oren on the Aegean coast close to Bodrum and in Istanbul representing a capacity of 1435 floating and 780 hard standing.

Visit us at the London International Boat Show at Stand C150 to discover more of Turkey’s endless opportunities for life on the sea.

World-Class Marinas

Turkey has a wealth of world-class marinas with 36 international standard marinas and 12 municipality operated marinas with a total capacity of 14,230 floating berths and 5,605 hard standing. All are located between Istanbul in the north and Mersin in the south, though plans are underway to develop the unexplored potential of the Black Sea region. In Istanbul both Atakoy Marina on the European side and Setur Kalamis-Fenerbahce (Amiral Fahri Koruturk) Marina on the Asian side offer 24-hour service. Larger cruise-liners most often dock in the larger ports of Istanbul or Kusadasi, both of which are perfectly situated for access to some of Turkey’s most interesting historic sites. Turkish Marina Management has an excellent reputation amongst international sailing crews for taking care of the yachts and their crew.

Newly opened marinas include:

Cesme Marina, Izmir: 373 berths and 80 hard-standing capacity

Didim Marina, Aydin: 580 berths and 600 hard-standing capacity

Kas Marina, Antalya: 450 berths and 150 hard-standing capacity

Mersin Marina, Antalya: 500 berths and 500 hard-standing capacity

Teos Marina, Sigacik, Izmir: 525 berths and 80 hard-standing capacity

West Istanbul Marina: 600 berths and 300 hard-standing capacity

Yalova Marina, Istanbul: 240 berths and 80 hard-standing capacity

The Blue Flag Campaign 

Turkey has been awarded a total of 352 Blue Flag Beaches and 19 Blue Flag Marinas for 20012/13.  The Blue Flag is one of four projects under the co-ordination of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and the Environmental Education Foundation of Turkey (TURCEV), which designates which beaches and marinas have the right to display a Blue Flag and is judged on the basis of cleanliness of water, environmental concerns, security, safety and services. In order to maintain Blue Flag status, the marina or beach must meet the assessment criteria every year. In addition all marinas and beaches have to provide information panels on the cultural and natural assets of the sea and provide the data on Blue Flag accreditation. Marinas have an additional criterion to fulfil: a 'rapid response plan' in case of fire, accident or similar events.

Blue Cruise

Enjoy a relaxing holiday aboard a gulet, a traditional wooden sailing boat, otherwise known as a Mavi Yolculuk or 'Blue Cruise'. Much of Turkey’s coastline is only accessible by boat, making sailing the ideal way to explore this secret beauty, stopping off at your leisure to explore a historic site or visit a charming village. The tale of the gulet began in Bodrum, with the book Mavi Yolculuk, in which the author Cevat Sakir Kabaagac described his idyllic 'blue cruise' voyage around the coast of Bodrum with the local sponge fishermen.

Gulets have since evolved from traditional fishing and cargo vessels into their present form, perfect for a relaxing holiday away from the crowds; most vessels have large sunbathing decks, dining area and cabins below – most also have motors as well as sails. Gulets can be fully chartered by a group or are sold on a cabin basis by tour operators – style and comfort can vary greatly according to price. Most gulets also travel a specific route on the Aegean or Mediterranean coastlines, taking in the azure waters, a multitude of isolated bays and tiny islands. For those who prefer less time at sea, day trips can be arranged from any resort, either by booking through your operator, local agency or visiting the local harbour first thing in the morning.  

International Bodrum Cup

The Bodrum Cup is a unique international yacht regatta and annual tradition, celebrating the end of the cruising season in Turkey and uniting Bodrum’s charter fleet with private wooden yachts from around the world. This most exciting of competitions is held annually in October, exclusively for classically constructed wooden vessels, both for skilled yachtsmen and novices, who can stow away as passengers or join the crews for the last adventure of the sailing season.

Other International Festivals and Regattas

International Yachting Festival and Race, Marmaris, March & October

International Bosphorus Cup, May, Istanbul

Istanbul                Channel Regatta - International Offshore Races, Marmaris to Rhodes, June

International Istanbul Optimist Week, Istanbul, June-July

IODA World Team Racing Championship and IODA World Sailing Championship, Cesme, July

International Turkish Navy Cup, Istanbul, July

International Istanbul Sailing Week, Istanbul, August

International Ataturk Dam Sailing Competition, Sanliurfa, September

Bozburun International Gulet Festival, Bozburun, Marwari’s, October

Yacht Building Industry

Turkey is the third highest producer of luxury yachts in the world with the yacht building industry being primarily located in the Istanbul region and also in some parts of the Black Sea, Marmara Sea, Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Region. The yachts built in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions are mostly exported to Germany and Greece. As a first for Turkey, an industrial zone of 500,000 square metres specialising solely in yacht production and maintenance is being currently planned for the Manavgat district of Antalya province on the Mediterranean coast. 

For endless opportunities and to find out more about all the areas outlined above, don’t miss Turkey at the London International Boat Show, Stand C150.

Follow us @Turkeyunlimited

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