The Culture and Tourism Ministry has applied to buy the yacht that was assigned to Republican founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1938 and turn it into a museum and venue to host foreign officials, reports Hurriyet Daily News.
Ömer Çelik, the culture and tourism minister, paid a visit to the yacht, which is anchored in Istanbul, on Sept. 9 together with two officials from the ministry and received information about the yacht from its owner, Kahraman Sadıkoğlu.
The Savarona, which is 136 meters long, was designed by American William Francis Gibss and built in 1931 for 4 million dollars. It was not until 1938 that the Turkish Republic bought the yacht and appointed it to the services of Atatürk, though he could only use it for six months, due to his severe illness that later caused his death. Cabinet meetings were held and foreign guests were hosted in the ship during Atatürk’s time.
The yacht will be converted into a museum and also a place to host foreign officials on their visits to Turkey, if the purchase is to be realized. Çelik and Sadıkoğlu, who had rented the Savarona for 49 years in 1989, talked about the characteristics of the yacht and the details of the sale.
Sadıkoğlu rented the yacht just before it was going to be scrapped in 1989 after having served as a training ship for the Turkish Naval Forces following World War II.