Native American boat on Bosphorus to be displayed at Rahmi Koç Museum
Güneş Kömürcüler ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The Hiawatha Boat, was produced in 1922 and has been in Turkey since 1932. It was taken to Koç Holding’s RMK Marine facilities to be restored.The U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul and the Istanbul-based Rahmi M. Koç Museum have signed a protocol to exhibit the Hiawatha Boat, which is owned by the consulate and named after a legendary Native American chief.
“I have been dreaming of owning the boat since the 1940s when I studied in Robert College on the Bosphorus. I wrote many letters to the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul to ask whether they would think of selling this beautiful boat. And finally they said ‘yes.’ We are so happy to add this unique piece to the marine collection of our museum,” said the honorary president of Koç Holding, Rahmi Koç, at the signing ceremony of the protocol.
He said they had talked about the process for over a year. “The Consulate General could not give the boat directly to us as they would need to sell it in an auction. None of us wanted this. The best formula was to exhibit the boat here under a co-guardianship model, and we chose this option. The U.S. Consulate General will remain the owner of the boat, but the boat will be exhibited here, in the museum, and our American friends can use the boat whenever they want,” he said.
“The Hiawatha boat has been a lively symbol of the close friendship between the U.S. and Turkey for years. The boat will continue to perform its unique mission thanks to the generous support of the Rahmi Koç Museum,” U.S. Consul General Scott Kilner said.
Produced in 1922, the Hiawatha has been in Turkey since 1932, cruising on the Bosphorus. Many Americans used the boat during visits to Istanbul over the years, including the wife of 32nd U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt.