Atatürk’s yacht to escort Erdoğan
Umut Erdem MOSCOW
DHA PhotoThe Savarona, the official yacht of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, will be used to host heads of state as well as escort President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during official visits, Tourism and Culture Minister Ömer Çelik announced March 22.
“The yacht might escort the president in his foreign visits or if Mr. President wants to host heads of state abroad the Savarona. In this way, the president will be able to host dinners on Turkish soil when a foreign leader hosts the president for dinner,” said Çelik, adding that restoration work on the boat was continuing.
Erdoğan hosted Bakir Izetbegovic, the chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, abroad the Savarona on March 4, marking the first time the yacht was used to host a foreign leader during Erdoğan’s rule.
The 136-meter yacht, with 17 luxury suites, was built in 1931 for the daughter of Brooklyn Bridge chief engineer John A. Roebling. It was then sold to Turkey in 1938 and presented to Atatürk as a gift.
However, Atatürk was only able to spend six weeks abroad the yacht before his death on Nov. 10, 1938.
Following years of inactivity, Kahraman Sadıkoğlu, a Turkish businessman, leased the historic yacht for 49 years in 1989 to use for tourism.
The yacht, which has been under restoration for a long time, was ultimately given to the Culture and Tourism Ministry in January 2014.