100-year-old shipwreck discovered in Gulf of İzmir

100-year-old shipwreck discovered in Gulf of İzmir

100-year-old shipwreck discovered in Gulf of İzmir

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Turkish experts have discovered a ship, believed to have sunk at the end of the 19th century, in the Gulf of İzmir off the Çiğli district on the western Aegean coat, during a project aimed at improving water quality in the bay, Doğan News Agency reported on June 3.

The discovery was reportedly made as experts from Dokuz Eylül University’s Marine Action in Science and Technology Institute were in the İzmir bay for exploration works, as part of the İzmir Gulf and Port Rehabilitation project undertaken by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.

The ship is reportedly believed to be a commercial freighter that was on its way from Istanbul to İzmir when it sunk. As there is no deformation on the main pier, experts believe the ship sunk due to a simple malfunction, rather than as a result of an attack. 

The discovery was made as a team of experts from Dokuz Eylül University was on an exploration ship when they detected a slanted wreck 78 meters long and 8 meters wide, at a depth of 42 meters.   

The university will in the upcoming days take video footage of the shipwreck with an underwater camera in order to secure more detailed information. The ship does not reportedly affect water circulation in the bay, as it is very deep and effectively serves as an artificial reef. 

Muhammat Duman, a professor at Dokuz Eylül University, said there were two possibilities about the history of the ship. 

“It is rumored that the Greeks who left İzmir [in the aftermath of the World War I] emptied out the İzmir Museum and as they were fleeing in this ship one of our heroes sunk it. However, it looks like a commercial freighter carrying cargo from Istanbul to İzmir at the end of 1800s,” Duman reportedly said.

“We are happy that we have discovered such an artefact. We don’t know if it sunk due to a malfunction or storm, but there is no trace of a strike on it … In the upcoming days we will get clearer information once we get hold of more detailed images,” he added.  

With the latest discovery, the number of shipwrecks discovered in the İzmir Gulf has risen to five. Of the other shipwrecks, two are located 19 meters deep off the Yenikale district, believed to have sunk in 1950s as a result of a clash, one was a 120-meter long freighter, and the other was an 80-meter long passenger ship.