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November December 2019 Marina World

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TALKING SHOP Fuat Címen has a vision to transform West Istanbul Marina (left) into a worldrenowned superyacht refit centre. Cruising where continents meet Straddling Europe and Asia, West Istanbul Marina is one of the largest in Turkey. It is also the only marina in the Mediterranean offering technical services to some of the world’s largest superyachts – and has plans for more. Charlotte Niemiec invites Fuat Címen, deputy general marina manager, to talk shop. Historic Istanbul is a popular tourist destination with mild weather, unforgettable sunsets and culture galore. West Istanbul Marina lies on the edge of the European side, offering 600 wet berths, 300 drystack spaces and 30 berths for superyachts up to 95m (311ft) in length. Fuat Címen has been with the marina since its inception. “I started working in the maritime sector in 1989 at the 1,000-berth Atakoy Marina in Istanbul and worked there for 18 years. After that, I began working at West Istanbul Marina. I participated in the construction of the marina and have worked there since it opened in 2012,” he says. In addition to running West Istanbul Marina, Címen provides consultancy services for other marinas. “I really love my job and it is a big pleasure for me to work with such a professional team. The sea inspires me, I am fond of sailing and I even have my own sailboat. So, my work is also my biggest passion and hobby.” His vision is to transform the marina into a world-renowned superyacht refit centre in Europe. And this dream is not far off. What sets the marina apart from others in the region – aside from its size – is that it is a complex with huge capacity for technical services. It is the only marina in the Mediterranean with a 700-tonne mobile boat hoist and the technical ability to provide yacht refits of any complexity. While most marinas in Turkey cater to smaller yachts, West Istanbul Marina spans the gamut from 9m (29.5ft) sail boats to superyachts. Between January and April this year, it painted the hull of a Lürssen yacht which, at 85m (279ft) long, is among the largest superyachts in the world. The huge project called for expert calculations on the amount of scaffolding required and the maintenance of temperatures for painting inside water. “It was a big challenge, as no one in Turkey had done it before,” says Címen. “It’s professional and unique work, and has helped to further set our marina apart from others in the region.” Címen is not stopping there. His plan for the future is to install a 2,500- tonne Syncrolift for lifting yachts up to 100m (328ft) in length. “This will give us the opportunity to provide lift/launch services for our superyacht clients,” he says. The marina appears to be a non-stop work in progress. Initial construction took place over four years but plans were drawn up much earlier. “One of the challenges of building in Istanbul is the bureaucracy in obtaining permits from the government,” Címen says. In 2006, Turkish company Enelka Taahhüt İmalat ve Ticaret Ltd signed a marina operation agreement with the Ministry of Finance on the basis of a ‘build-operate-transfer’ model. Construction began in 2008 but, during this time, the company revised its plans for the marina and decided to build a western breakwater. The company filed an application of approval from the government to do so, and was required to produce environmental impact assessments, hydrographic, oceanographic, geological and geophysical reports. In 2010, the - November/December 2019 23

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