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Turkish Shipping Summit profiles national success

Turkish Shipping Summit profiles national success

Istanbul: More than 200 delegates crammed into the main conference room of the opulent Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel in Istanbul, looking out over the Bosphorus straits to Asia, for the inaugural one-day Turkish Shipping Summit co-organised by Seatrade and TradeWinds last Thursday (October 25).

An initial speech was delivered by HE Binali Yildrim, Minister of Transport, who spoke at length on the current success of Turkish shipping and shipbuilding. The Minister was doubly qualified to do so, having a maritime background himself and being part of a stable government that actively supports the industry.

Other leading local speakers included Metin Kalkavan, president of the Turkish Chamber of Shipping, and Esref Cerrahoglu, chairman of the Cerrahgil Group. International guests included Bimco president Philip Embiricos, Paris MOU secretary Ivo Snijders, Galbraith's head of research Dr Philip Rogers, Bureau Veritas evp Bernard Annea and ABS vp Steward Wade.

The composite picture painted was of a national industry enjoying success all round. Turkey's shipyards have become a major international success story in recent years, employing just 4,000 workers building mainly small vessels under 2,000dwt in 2002 but today having 30,000 yard workers building ships up to 180,000dwt. Current backlog is over 650 vessels.

At the same time, the Turkish-controlled fleet now stands at 11.8m dwt with another 7.5m dwt on order at foreign yards and 1.0m dwt locally. The standard of the Turkish flag fleet is also improving, with the number of Paris MOU detentions having fallen from 160 in 2002 to just 42 in 2006. [30/10/07]