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SAVARONA Sex Scandal

Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 by

MV SAVARONA at Istinye, Turkey. Photo and copyright Peter Knego 2009.

On September 30, 2010, the famed yacht SAVARONA was seized by the Turkish state, two days after a raid and charges that long term charterer Sadikoglu had leased the ship to Tevfik Arik, a Kazakh businessman, who in turn was using the vessel as a floating brothel for Russian and Ukrainian prostitutes. According to the Los Angeles Times, ten suspects, including Arik, now face human smuggling and prostitution charges and have been ordered to not leave Turkey until a trial is held on 18 February.

The twin funneled 4,646 gt SAVARONA was designed by Gibbs and Cox and built by Blohm and Voss in 1931 for heiress Emily Cadwallader, granddaughter of John Roebling, who built the Brooklyn Bridge. For decades, she was the largest yacht in the world and remains one of the longest, at 446 feet (including bowsprit). In 1938, she was bought by the Turkish state for ailing leader Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, who only used the ship for a few weeks before his death. After that, she remained laid up in the Bosphorus until being converted into the training ship GUNES DIL in 1951. In 1979, she was ravaged by fire and left in situ for a decade in the Sea of Marmara until being rebuilt into a deluxe yacht with accommodations for 34 guests. Sadikogllu spent $25 million re engining and rebuilding the gutted ship and leased her for 49 years, charging upwards of $50,000 per day to wealthy charterers to help recoup an annual maintenance tab of $3 million. A suite on board is dedicated to Ataturk and fitted with some of his original artifacts, although the only surviving original feature is a spiral staircase with gold-plated banister. SAVARONA has a cinema, lavish public rooms, a Turkish bath and a pool.

The ship, which was seized according to a clause in the charter contract that calls for annulment if used for any purpose “inappropriate with the nation’s heritage or contrary to the traditional habits and customs (of Turkey)”, may be opened up in the future as a maritime museum.

15 Responses to SAVARONA Sex Scandal

  1. Kenneth Eden

    December 22, 2010 at 5:04 am

    This brings new meaning to room service!

  2. David Ingram

    December 22, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Quick! Dispatch Peter Knego to collect the acres of leopard-spotted, deep-pile carpeting, heart-shaped beds, and mirrored ceiling panels that will surely be removed!

  3. Jon Davies

    December 24, 2010 at 3:54 am

    I wish I could say your comment/s offered a glimmer of humour David Ingram but they don’t. Seems you have too much time on your hands.

  4. David Ingram

    December 28, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Excuse me, Jon Davies? I posted my message in the spirit of fun, and you see it as your duty to comment on THAT?! On Christmas Eve, no less?

    What you may lack for a sense of humor you must also lack in a sense of irony, judging by your last sentence. Happy Holidays to you too.

  5. Corey A.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    People that have too much time on their hands should not comment about others having too much time on their hands.

  6. Corey A.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    David, that was funny. I’m sure that Peter is smart enough to think so too.

  7. Peter Knego

    December 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Hey guys, appreciate the input and no worries from here. David was jesting and I got a chuckle out of it.

    I think sometimes the intent of the posts can be misread.

    In any case, let’s please not escalate this any further.

  8. Tobias T.

    December 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I believe the MV SAVARONA is a very nice ship with beautiful lines, but a funnel too much. I hope she’ll be still sailing in future…

  9. David

    December 28, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Reminds me of Incres Lines (mananged by) STELLA POLARIS …… truly a beatiful ship !!

  10. David Ingram

    December 29, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Thanks for the kind words guys! Peter and Martin, I always enjoy your work.

    Happy New Year!

  11. Tom Kuenzi

    January 3, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Happy New Years all ~ Hey Peter

  12. Jim

    January 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Better check your facts again.


    Is that intended as a joke ???

    The Savaronna was built for Emily ROEBLING CADWALLADER, who was indeed the grandaughter of John A. Roebling.

    Marjorie Merriweather POST, the daughter of C.W. Post, founder of the Post Cereal Company, was woman who comissioned the building of the giant sailing yacht, SEA CLOUD.

    EMILY POST was a newpaper and magazine writer of articles on etiquette.

    Somehow, you managed to combine all three of them into one owner.

    You might want to correct that error.


  13. Peter Knego

    January 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks so much for your correction. Duly noted. I appreciate it.

    Happy New Year!


  14. Dan Cottle

    January 6, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Quick question. Is this “Sadikoglu” the same person who was involved in the proposed project to rebuild SS UNITED STATES in Turkey in the early 1990’s?



  15. Peter Knego

    January 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Dan, I believe it is. All the best, Peter

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