People usually think the Bosphorus is a very nice place to go on a tour, enjoy raki-balik meal at the restaurants and cafes around and live along the coast. Is it always true? Apparently not for some, especially the crew on some of the ships going through the strait and mansion owners along the Bosphorus.
Istanbul Strait has been open for international shipping traffic since the Montreux Convention was signed in 1936. The agreement gave Turkey control over the Straits and regulates military activitiy in the region and it is still in force today, with some amendments.
During the period from 1953 to 2002, 461 maritime incidents occurred in the İstanbul Strait or in its southern entrance at the Marmara Sea. The majority were collisions.
December 14, 1960
Yugoslavian flagged M/T Petar Zoranić, carrying gasoline, collided with the Greek tanker M/T World Harmony at Kanlıca Point. 20 ships officers and crew died, both masters included. 18,000 tons of oil spilled and caused pollution. Fire lasted for some weeks and suspended transit traffic. The Turkish vessel Tarsus collided into the Zoranić and burnt with it.
September 15, 1964
Norwegian flagged vessel Norborn contacted the wreck of Petar Zoranić at Kanlıca Point. Fire broke out and oil spilled.
March 1, 1966
Two Soviet flagged vessels M/T Lutsk and M/T Cransky Oktiabr collided at Maiden’s Tower Point. 1,850 tons oil spilled, caught fire and caused the Turkish passenger ferryboat Kadıköy and the ferry boat terminal of Karaköy burn completely.
July 3, 1966
Turkish passenger ferryboat Yeni Galatasaray collided with lumber carrying Turkish coaster Aksaray. 13 people died in the following fire.
November 18, 1966
Turkish passenger ferryboat Bereket hit the Romanian flagged Ploesti. 8 people drowned.
July 1, 1970
Italian vessel Ancona ran ashore and caused the downfall of a building under construction. 5 people died.
December 27, 1972
Two Turkish vessels, the passenger ferryboat Turan Emeksiz and the cargo ship M/V Sönmezler collided. 5 people died.
April 21, 1979
Romanian flagged vessel M/V Karpat collided with the Turkish ship M/V Kefeli. 11 people died.
November 15, 1979
Romanian registered M/T Independenta collided with Greek ship M/V Evriali at Haydarpaşa Point. 43 people died in the exploding Romanian tanker. The tanker burnt for days and painted Kadikoy shore black. Some of the bodies were found on the coast of Bursa in the South of Marmara. 94,600 tons of crude oil spilled and the following fire lasted weeks. It took ten years to carry the wreckage.
April 2, 1980
Greek ship M/V Elsa collided with the Soviet vessel M/V Moskovosky. 2 people died.
November 9, 1980
British vessel Nordic Faith collided with Greek flagged ship Stravanda. Fire broke out.
September 24, 1985
Turkish Navy fast attack boat TCG Meltem collided with a Soviet Navy war ship. Meltem sunk and 5 Turkish marines died.
October 29, 1988
Maltase registered ammoniac carrier M/T Blue Star contacted the Turkish crude oil tanker M/T Gaziantep, which was on anchor at Ahırkapı Point. 1,000 tons ammoniac spilled in the Marmara Sea.
March 25, 1990
Iraqi tanker M/T Jampur carrying gasoline collided with the Chinese flagged bulk carrier M/V Da Tung Shang at Sarıyer Point. 2,600 tons of oil spilled from Jampur and caused severe pollution.
November 14, 1991
Philippines flagged M/V Madonna Lily collided with the Lebanese flagged live stock carrier M/V Rabunion XVIII at Anadoluhisarı Point. 5 people died. 21,000 sheep drowned in the Romanian vessel sunk and their corpses caused a major pollution.
March 13, 1994
Crude oil carrier M/T Nassia collided with the bulk carrier M/V Shipbroker, both Cyprus registered. 27 people lost their lives. 9,000 tons of petroleum spilled and 20,000 tons burnt four days long affecting the marine environment severely. Traffic in the Strait was suspended for several days and Shipbroker burnt totally.
December 29, 1999
Russian tanker M/T Volganeft-248 grounded at Florya Point with 4,000 tons of fuel-oil on board and split into two pieces. 1,500 tons of oil spilled to the sea. Clean-up operation of the contaminated recreational beaches took about two years.
October 7, 2002
Maltase vessel M/V Gotia stranded at Bebek Point. 22 tons oil spilled causing environmental damage to the boats in the marina and the structures at the waterfront.
November 10, 2003
Georgian flagged cargo ship GGC Svyatoy Panteleymon ran aground off Anadolufeneri and broke into two pieces. Around 500 tons of oil spilled and caused pollution.
Did you know?
In 1936, 4700 different types of ships passed through the İstanbul strait whereas in 2003 this number was 46,939.