Heavy fog halts maritime traffic in Istanbul (Feb. 29)
Heavy fog blanketed Istanbul on Feb. 29 affecting transportation in the metropolis, including the cancelations of most ferry lines as well as disruptions in air traffic.
Many city ferry lines were canceled due to the fog, which began to show its effects early in the morning.
However, ferry lines bound for the Prince Islands and the Golden Horn continued without disruption.
Meanwhile, air traffic in Istanbul was affected by the fog for a short time. The visibility range was lowered at the city’s main Atatürk Airport and as well at Sabiha Gökçen Airport.
Some charter flights were diverted to nearby provinces. www.hurriyetdaily...
Istanbul to deploy drones to watch for ships dumping waste in Bosporus Strait
Istanbul's Metropolitan Municipality said on Thursday, Feb. 04 that the city would deploy surveillance drones starting in March to prevent further pollution of the Bosporus Strait from ships.
The municipality's environmental pollution control department head, Mustafa Tahmaz, said there was already a mechanism that was recording and photographing the ships' actions as regards to the pollution they were causing in the strait, but the city would now also start to deploy drones for a more effective surveillance.
""When needed, we conduct an inspection via helicopter within the context of a program. Starting in March, we will also conduct inspections using drones."
The city imposed fines totaling TL 2.8 million [$1 million] last year on 90 ships --28 of which were Turkish-flagged-- that polluted the strait among a "standard level". According to Tahmaz, 55 thousand vessels pass through Bosporus on an annual basis. www.dailysabah.co...
Over 60 Turkey port calls canceled for Norwegian, Oceania and Regent Cruise Ships
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said it will cancel calls in Turkey for the rest of 2016.
The move affects 32 itineraries sailed by Norwegian Cruise Line, 17 for Oceania Cruises and 12 for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The lines go to five ports of call in Turkey, including Istanbul, where a suicide bomber killed 10 people, mostly tourists, on Jan. 12.
Guests will instead go to Greek ports of call, primarily Athens and Santorini, Norwegian CEO Frank Del Rio said.
“This is one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make, itinerary-wise, because Turkey is very near and dear to our hearts,” Del Rio said.
The decision was based on intelligence about possible terrorism over the past several months, as well as the Jan. 12 bombing, Del Rio said. For the safety and security of guests, “The correct course of action is not to call on Turkish ports in 2016.”
Other cruise lines have canceled calls in Turkey but on a much more limited scale. Crystal, for example, has scratched Turkish calls on two cruises this spring in favor of Greece. MSC Cruises said its MSC Magnifica ship won’t call in Turkey until further notice. www.travelweekly....
Turkey’s Bosporus Strait closed to tankers due to snow (on Monday)
The Bosporus Strait was closed to tankers Monday afternoon (Jan. 18, 2016) due to heavy snow in the region, local port agents said.
“Authorities have notified [us] that the Bosporus traffic has been closed on January 18 at [4.06 pm local time] due to heavy snowfall,” Boutros Maritime and Transport said.
According to local agents, there were seven tankers due to pass through the Bosporus in a northbound direction Monday, and 13 due to pass through going South.
The Bosporus and the Dardanelles together form the only commercially navigable transit route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.
Turkey withholds 27 Russian ships for failing to meet sailing criteria
As Russia withheld eight Turkish ships at a port from travel since the jet downing incident on November 24, Turkey has tightened its inspections on Russian ships in response and so far withheld 27 Russian ships due to failure of meeting sailing criteria. According to the article of Turkish daily Habertürk based on shipping officials in Ankara, the number of Turkish ships withheld by Russia has reached eight this week.
Turkey, using the principle of reciprocity, tightened the inspections in Turkish ports in line with the Mediterranean and Black Sea memorandums. So far, 27 ships have been withheld from sailing as they failed to meet the criteria set by these memorandums. Following these incidents, Turkish and Russian authorities contacted each other through e-mail, with the Russian side giving the green light for a meeting to overcome the crisis, although how and when the parties will meet is not clear.
The withheld Russian ships were described as usually old vessels.
Source: Daily Saba
Bosporus strait on Wednesday shut to large tankers on weather
The Bosporus Strait is closed to large tankers due to strong currents, shipping agents said Wednesday.
Mastership Maritime Agency said traffic was suspended on at 8:54 pm local time (1854 GMT) due to a strong surface current in the Strait and that the suspension would continue for the whole of Wednesday for tankers with a length of over 200 meters but that smaller tankers would be able to resume using the Bosporus from 9:20 am local time on Wednesday.
A second shipping agent — Boutros Maritime and Transport — said the Bosporus Strait has been closed to tankers over 200 meters since Tuesday night due to the current.
According to both shipping agents, there are 11 tankers waiting to pass through the Bosporus in a Northbound direction, and nine waiting in the Southbound direction. Source: Platts
Cosco Pacific and China Merchants complete acquisition of Turkish container terminal
China Merchants Group has announced that together with Cosco Group it has signed a share transfer agreement with shareholders of Kumport in Turkey.
Under the agreements, the joint venture established by the two groups will acquire about 65.8% equity shares in Kumport for about for $939m.
Cosco Pacific, China Merchants Holdings International and CIC Captial jointly set up a joint venture in September for the acquisition of the equity.
Cosco Pacific said the board believes that Kumport Terminal, which is the third largest container terminal in Turkey, has good development prospects given the potential business synergy between Kumport Terminal and the company’s existing investment in Piraeus Container Terminal in Greece. splash247.com/cos...
Chinese companies set eyes on Turkey’s third largest port
Two Chinese port companies, China Merchants and China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), and the country’s largest state fund, China Investment Corp. (CIC), have signaled their intent to buy Turkey’s largest private port, Kumport, according to sources familiar with the issue.
The majority stakes in the port, which was privatized in 2007, is owned by Fiba Holding, and the remaining 35 percent is owned by the Oman State Fund, which has the option to buy all the stakes.
Chinese and Turkish parties are now waiting for approval from the Omani company, according to sources.
The Chinese consortium is reportedly ready to pay $1.5 billion, sources added.
COSCO owns a minority stake in Greece’s Piraeus Port. The company, which has over 800 ships, conducts operations to around 1,600 ports in 160 countries, according to sources. COSCO is also known as the fifth largest company in China.
The China Merchants Group, based in Hong Kong, has around $131 billion worth of assets, while CIC manages assets worth around $750 billion.
Kumport, located on the European side of Istanbul, succeeded in growing container shipping volume by 23 percent between 2007 and 2013, according to the company’s website. Handling 16 percent of the country’s total container shipping volume in 2013, the port has become the third largest port in Turkey with around 1.3 million TEU in volume.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News