Istanbul court issues seizure warrant for ship that crashed into historical mansion
Dinçer Gökçe – ISTANBUL
The ruling came after the owners of the Hekimbaşı Salih Efendi mansion applied to the Istanbul 17th Commercial Court of First Instance on April 9, demanding a lien to be enforced after their mansion was left with extensive damage. In their application, the owners noted the mansion had lost its historical status as a result of the crash.
The owners have also indicated that reconstruction of the mansion was subject to permission from the Council of Monuments and its reconstruction would “cost at least $40-50 million.”
The court then authorized the Maltese tanker Vitaspirit to be seized against the costs, specifying that the lien shall continue until the mansion’s owners are paid $50 million.
“For now, a seizure warrant has been ruled for the ship related to the $50 million [cost]. Currently, the relevant notices are being made to the port authority and coastal safety authorities for the seizure of the ship. The work to determine the extent of the damage is ongoing” said lawyers Nazlı Selek and Erdal Gökçe on behalf of the mansion owners.
The Bosphorus is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. In 2017, 42,000 military, naval and commercial vessels passed through the strait.
In 2017, there were a total of 127 incidents in the Bosphorus that almost resulted in a big crash, like that of the tanker Vitaspirit, but were “avoided with little or no harm,” and therefore, the public had not been informed of them, according to the Marine Safety Foundation.
“These [127 incidents] include crashing, touching, running aground, mechanical faults. Based on this, there is a narrow escape from an accident in the Bosphorus every three days,” said a statement issued by the foundation, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 10.