Visit to Bodrum Maritime Museum, 16 March 2012

When our group of sixteen met in front of the PTT in downtown Bodrum, nearly all of us were pleasantly surprised to find out that the museum building was also right there, in the busiest district of Bodrum where people shop and dine.  Many of us hadn’t noticed its huge door or the sign above it although we had strolled by several times.  Sema Sagat, the director of the museum, welcomed us graciously and gave a short presentation about the history of the establishment and the objects exhibited.

The project to establish a museum was started by Ali Kemal Denizaslanı who designed and constructed model boats of Bodrum such as gulets used for transport and tourism, tirhandils used for fishing and sponge diving and “aynakıç” (square sterned) boats for seafaring.  The Bodrum Chamber of Commerce was the first institution to support the project and other sponsors joined later.  The  Bodrum municipality is now in charge of this brand new museum which opened to the public on October 15, 2011.  On the walls there are show boards containing information about the history of seafaring and boat building in Bodrum together with old pictures gathered from Bodrum families.  The model boats are exhibited on the ground floor and a part of the upper floor.  A corner on the ground floor is dedicated to Cevat Şakir Kabaağaclı, the famous poet and writer also known as The Fisherman of Halicarnassus.  The museum also hosts Hasan Güleşçi’s wondrous sea shell collection on the upper floor.  Three thousand shells of 500 species, collected over a period of 40 years, are classified, labelled and displayed here.

At present there are 50 model boats in the museum.  This number will be increased to 85 when the remaining ones are completed. For more information you can visit the museum web site at

Vivian Kohen

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