Fallen sailors of sunken submarine remembered
Fallen sailors of TCG Dumlupınar submarine that sank 69 years ago due to a collision in the Dardanelles Strait have been commemorated with a ceremony held in the western province of Çanakkale attended by local officials and residents.
The first ceremony was held on the deck of the TCG 18 March submarine, and Çanakkale Governor İlhami Aktaş and Garrison Commander Rear Admiral Turhan Ecevit laid wreaths on the sea at the spot where TCG Dumlupınar sank.
The second commemoration ceremony was held at the Nara Barbaros Martyrdom located in the city center, where a moment of silence was observed, the National Anthem was sung and prayers were made for the 81 fallen sailors.
After the official ceremonies, members of non-governmental organizations, locals and relatives of the fallen sailors left carnations on the graves.
The Balao-class submarine belonged to United States Navy in the name of USS Blower during World War II, but it was transferred to the Turkish Naval Forces in 1950, where it was recommissioned as the second TCG Dumlupınar.
Following a joint NATO training exercise held in the Mediterranean Sea, the submarine collided on April 4, 1953, on the way back with the Swedish-flagged ship Naboland in the Dardanelles, which resulted in the crew being trapped underwater.
Despite numerous attempts by engineers and divers, rescue efforts provided no results due to the severe currents and the depth of TCG Dumlupınar, and the morale of the trapped crew began to decline.
On April 7, three days after the accident, officials declared that the rising carbon dioxide levels inside the submarine would have killed any surviving crew, and the rescue operation was called off. Several songs were written and movies were made after the victims.