A sad farewell to one of the last largely unaltered vintage passenger ships, the Turkish-flagged MV AKDENIZ of 1955.

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All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 1998, 2013 unless otherwise noted.

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MV AKDENIZ at Tuzla in 2013.

Sources at the Istanbul Teknik University have shared with MaritimeMatters that the 1955-built MV AKDENIZ, which has served as a student training ship at the Tuzla-based campus since 1997, is currently being prepared for disposal. The ship is due to depart within the next two weeks for the shipbreakers’ yard of Aliaga, where she will be demolished.

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MV AKDENIZ builder’s plate.

Named for the Aegean Sea, AKDENIZ was built at the AG Weser shipyard in Bremen for Turkish Maritime Line’s Istanbul and Izmir to Black Sea service. She and her sister KARADENIZ, which was scrapped in 1987, were the largest, grandest Turkish passenger ships of their day. Their interiors were fitted with beautiful hardwoods and the unique, hand-wrought craftsmanship typical of the mid-20th Century era.

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Still sporting Turkish Maritime Lines’ livery, the MV AKDENIZ anchored at Tuzla in 1998.

In her latter active years, the AKDENIZ enjoyed charter cruise service with German-based Phoenix Seereisen before stringent new SOLAS standards forced her retirement in 1997, when she was officially handed over to ITU for use as a training ship.

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MV AKDENIZ former first class Bergama Lounge, facing starboard.

Too large and difficult to maintain for official training purposes, she has occasionally served as a classroom and dormitory. In recent years, attempts to find a new role for the ship as a floating hotel and/or museum have yielded no takers.

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MV AKDENIZ former tourist class Kekova Lounge, facing starboard.

According to our source, one of her masts may be removed and preserved on the campus. The AKDENIZ is among the last largely original classic ocean liners left and her demolition will be a sad blow to all who appreciate the ships, marine architecture and decor of the mid-1950s era.

Very special thanks: Dr. Ata Bilgili


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