Ömür Karataş, General Manager

In a year, there are thousands of vessels passing through the Turkish Straits. Before passage on both direction, twelve hours are wasted by waiting for the order on anchorage These vessels are not only under the Turkish flag,but also carrying cargo and passengers under worldwide flags.

While vessels were carrying cargos, all sailors and passengers prefer to supply their needs such as food, beverages, spare parts, lub oil, fuel oil and maintenance needs in ports which has the best price for them. Port authorities and custom regulations is the biggest obstacle for this market in another sense, untouchable market for us.

In the case that one-sided custom negotiation with European Union, although Europe empowers all export of the goods without custom fee, Europe comes up with custom legislations for providing needs and services to the vessels. By causing defer of providing the goods and services to vessel, vessels are steered to the ports managed to supply more easily.

 

According to the worldwide statistics, more than 300 gross tonnage commercial vessel’s amount are around 50 thousands almost equalas the number of vessels which has passed the Turkish Straits in a year.

Singapore and Far East Ports are just drop in ports for vessels. However there is no legislation problem for providing needs to vessel thus there is no obstacle for providers. Also, because of various accessible and easier providers , Singapore are chosen area by ship owners . Remarkably, million dollars have been gained by this way!

For the vessels which is passing through the straits; supplying spare parts and stores, maintenance and materials, agency and transportation services,all included average cost is ten thousand dollars for each vessel . Consider this value for all vessels passing through the straits, and multiply by fifty thousand; conclusion would be reached market volume of 500 million dollar. Even one sided contract with European Union cause a blockage for enormous income, by new adjustment in custom legislations still 500 million dollar income would be managed. Also production, repair and service employment would be empowered.

Each day, one vessel arrives to Karakoy Port.These vessels are all modern type and carries 4000 passenger plus 1300 crew. In total around 5300 people arrives to the port by vessel.

In 2000’s, there are Karadeniz and Akdeniz named Turkish Cruise vessels instead of foreign cruise vessels. Vessels have departed from Istanbul, gone to Izmir and then sailed to ports of Greece , Italy and come back to Turkey. For years, crew have been Turkish and passengers have been foreign further vessel needs, fuel oils, stores and goods have supplied all from Turkey. After our vessels became scrap, What could be changed not to buy new ones ?

By giant transatlantic, Italians took over the cruise line between Istanbul and Venice. Crew of the cruise vessel have readjusted to 1300 peopled Italian Officers, Brazilian Entertainment crew, Indonesian and Philippians rating crew and also goods, stores and fuels have supplied from Venice not from Turkey, even for bottle of water. Although all cruise vessels arrives to Karakoy Port, passengers walk to The Grand Bazaar to buy some trinket and visit Hagia Sophia. For instance, Ship passengers and crew consumes 3 ton meat each day; 30 thousand euros,so this makes 9 million euro for year !

In a case that minimum four ships arrives to Karakoy each week, from 16 thousand passenger in a week to 800 thousand passenger in a year, in average cost 1000 Euros per passenger makes 800 million euro fund! In addition withdraw of Turkey from the cruise line ,means all economical income , employment is under the control of Italians in other words transportation monopoly of Italians.

Countries represent their sovereignty and freedom by their dominated market economy. Preparation and utilization of laws and regulations are significant way to protect the market. During the Republic era, priority was transport of the passengers and cargos in domestic lines and protected by Cabotage Law. Although Cabotage Law is still valid, for control of Turkish ports, transportation of cargos and passengers comes to fore of foreigner’s control. Our Cabotage and Custom Laws promote the barrier of business in marine and also causes the barrier to income of millions.

If rules and laws would be adverse benefits of the country, those would be reviewed and renewed by plans and laws to regain lost benefits

Civil society organizations and state authorities have a important role in directing the market of service and trade of ships passing through Istanbul Straits towards the benefits of country by new organizations and regulations.