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Turkey Flexes its Muscle

Alia’s 55-meter Al Waab II under construction.

Alia’s 55-meter Al Waab II under construction.

Turkey is no longer an up-and-comer as a hub for yacht building — the country is now a major player and home to some of the world’s busiest yards.

After establishing the Antalya Free Zone on the country’s Mediterranean coast in 2000, the number of builders has steadily increased every year.

A rendering of the completed Al Waab II.

A rendering of the completed Al Waab II.

The result: Antalya has generated $1.2 billion in revenues — now ranked only behind Italy and the Netherlands in the world, according to the Hürriyet Daily News.

“Since 2000, we’ve been in this business,” ASBAŞ head Zeki Gürses told the paper. “Now there are 50 companies here. We have built and delivered around 460 ultra-luxury yachts.” ASBAŞ oversees and represents the builders in the free zone.

Ava Yachts 110 comes out of the shed.

Ava Yachts 110 comes out of the shed.

The largest superyacht built here was 63 meters (206 feet) but Gürses said that a yard is slated to launch a 230-foot vessel by the end of the year.

It is the busiest of such yacht-centric free zones in the nation — others include Tuzla, just outside Istanbul of Bodrum, on the Aegean Sea.

Gürses added that the free zone has become a vital service hub for maintenance and other needs, serving many of the superyachts that summer in the Med.

“In previous years, 132 super yachts were brought here. Some 114 of them were repaired and $34.1 million were fetched,” Gürses said. 

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