There are 114 abandoned ships in Turkey’s territorial areas in the Marmara, Aegean and Black Seas, reports Hurriyet Daily News.
One such vessel was cargo ship Tallas (IMO 7364546) which was seized in 2015 due to her owner’s debts and sat crewless in front of Istanbul’s Ahırkapı anchor point for two years before severe storms washed it ashore on February 4th at the Zeytinburnu coast. The ship was auctioned on May 10th to be dismantled and scrapped. Ship manufacturing company Marsis, which won the tender bid, estimated that the work would be completed within 45 days. The transportation of the ship to a shipyard was deemed too risky. so it was being cleaned and cut into pieces for recycling in situ.
The Turkish Harbours Law was recently amended, giving authority to the Turkish Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ministry to deal with these ships. The ministry has stated that 25 ships, one of them the Tallas, were a priority to be dismantled.
Tallas used to sail under the Cambodian flag, but was seized in 2015 due to debts.
Marsis representative Ali Tamer Sukes said that the transportation of the ship to a shipyard was “risky”, which was why they had begun dismantling the ship where it had run ashore. “Ships that have run ashore, such as the Tallas, or ones found submerged, are damaged to the point that they cannot be transported. Such ships can sink when attempting to transfer them to the shipyard. This is why we are dismantling the ship on the shore,” said Sukes.
MİNA-I is another ship that will soon be dismantled. The Turkish-flagged 78-metre-long ship ran ashore at Maltepe port in Istanbul in November 2016. MİNA-I was scheduled to be auctioned on June 4th through a tender, after which a process would be launched to dismantle the ship.