Following a call to the Turkish business world to raise funds, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry are allegedly trying to action plans to turn the largest classic yacht in the world, SAVARONA, into a museum dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Built in 1931 by Blohm + Voss, the 124.3m/407.8ft motor yacht SAVARONA was at the time the largest yacht ever to have been launched and is today the third largest yacht available for charter. From her conception she has been steeped in a colourful history and was originally designed for Emily Roebling Cadwallader, granddaughter of John A. Roebling who was the engineer for the Brooklyn Bridge.
In 1938 SAVARON was gifted to the revolutionary statesman and the first President of Turkey, Atatürk, in the belief that the sea air may help his ailing health. Atatürk is a highly acclaimed figure in Turkey and has been credited as the founder of the Republic of Turkey after leading the national movement in the Turkish War of Independence. During the time that he owned SAVARONA, he hosted many important meetings on board including King Edward VII in 1938 on a visit to Istanbul. On May 31st 1938, Atatürk moved on to the superyacht where he stayed for six weeks towards the end of his life before passing away a few months later.
SAVARONA then went into disrepair and was due to be transferred to the Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation for $6,000 as salvage before Turkish businessman Kahraman Sadıkoğlu bought her. She immediately underwent a $45 million extensive three year refit programme executed by a 600-strong crew before joining the global charter fleet. Since then SAVARONA has been chartered around the world whilst still keeping the memory of Atatürk alive with many of his personal belongings and an on-board library suite dedicated to him.
Başaran Ulusoy, president of the Turkish Association of Tourism has described the museum project as a ‘holy mission’ that will become an integral part of Turkey’s heritage as well as tourism prospects: "Our ancestor’s belongings are there as they were before. There is even a drop of his blood. Let us buy it and give it to the ministry to anchor in front of Dolmabahçe as a museum".
Sadıkoğlu is said to be open to the idea of selling the luxury charter yacht for this purpose due to his own commitment to keeping the memory of such an iconic figure alive which saw him keep belongings such as bed sheets, luggage and handkerchiefs in addition to buying back all of the original furniture.
SAVARONA is a perfect example of a classic charter yacht that offers every comfort and luxury of a modern yacht. During her refit, her interior was completely re-styled by celebrated designer Donald Starkey and offers stunning accommodation for 34 guests in 17 staterooms with additional room for an impressive 44 crew. Among her many amenities, she features a swimming pool, a Turkish bath, a gold-trimmed grand staircase that survived from her original construction and a movie theatre.
SAVARONA is a perfect example of a classic charter yacht that offers every comfort and luxury of a modern yacht.