Gelibolu, also known as Gallipoli, is one of Turkey’s most historic locations. Located in east of the country, on the southern shore of the peninsula that shares its name, the town has a rich naval legacy dating as far back as the 5th Century B.C.
Over the centuries that followed the town would go from being the home of important military warehouses for corn and wine under the rule of emperor Justinian I, to falling under the power of Venice in 1204 and the Genoese in 1294, before the Turks conquered it in 1354, making it part of the Ottoman empire.
Fast forwarding to the 20th Century and the town, and wider peninsula, bore witness to the infamous Gallipoli Campaign of the First World War. The town was finally returned to Turkey in 1923 under the Treaty of Lausanne and has since gone on to become recognised as an administrative centre within the province of Çanakkale that is home to over 30,000 inhabitants.
Lying in close proximity to Gelibolu, along the coast of the Dardanelles, one will find Gelibolu Shipyard. A present day reminder of the historic links this part of Europe has to the maritime sector, Gelibolu Shipyard is a family owned newbuilding yard founded in 1975. One half of Aksoy Shipping Group, it specialises in the building of small-to-medium sized sea and river going vessels for its ship chartering sister company, Ali Riza Aksoy Denizcilik.
One of the facets of the business that Gelibolu Shipyard benefits most from is its relationship with Aksoy Shipping Group. This Turkish charterer has achieved wide success in the local market through its dedication to reliability, quality, and innovation. As a result of this relationship activity at the shipyard has remained at a steady pace and this has given the company’s engineers the time to construct the modern vessels it has become so well known for.
Spread over a total area of approximately 50,000 square metres, the shipyard’s facilities include three slipways of 30 metres by 130 metres, approximately 8,000 square metres of enclosed construction workshops with various cutting, bending, welding and shaping machines. From its facilities the shipyards engineers are capable of constructing vessels of up 150 metres in length and with a beam of approximately 30 metres.
Gelibolu Shipyard’s experienced and loyal workforce has a strong track record of building and delivering turn-key vessels of all types, from small work-boats to fully automated ocean-going vessels of the highest standards. Examples of this work includes dry cargo carriers, product and chemical tankers, container ships, supply boats, tugs, accommodation barges, ferries and landing craft. Each and every member of the shipyard’s workforce has helped the company fashion for itself a reputation for excellence when it comes to the quality of its products, its ability to deliver on schedule and for the way it always strives to keep the promises it makes to its customers.
Gelibolu Shipyard understandably takes great pride in the high quality of its ships and their components. A perfect example of this would be the REMAS, a 75-metre offshore diving support vessel featuring diesel-electric propulsion, Dynamic Positioning Class II and an environmentally friendly design, which is now owned and managed by leading offshore contractor, Micoperi. The vessel has been specifically crafted for accessing and operating in the Caspian Sea and also possesses a hull that has been designed for river passage, shallow water draft and four point mooring capabilities.
The future of Gelibolu Shipyard, like any other yard or associated business, will depend heavily upon the status of the chartering market internationally and the levels of activity that it experiences over the coming months and years. While there is clearly something of an oversaturation of vessels in certain sectors of the maritime industry, including those in which Gelibolu Shipyard specialises in, it is the company’s belief that the flexibility it possesses will allow it to adjust accordingly to service those sectors of the market where demand remains stable or strong.
The sector where increased demand is confidently predicted to rise in the short to medium term is the offshore sector. This is because of several factors, not least of all the continued resilience of oil and gas prices, the new discoveries being made in this field and the surge in offshore wind farm developments in countries pushing for greater sources of renewable energy.
Each of the above developments offers a company like Gelibolu Shipyard, with its hard-earned reputation for excellence and quality, fresh opportunities for growth and thus opens up the possibility for an exciting future.
Written by Will Daynes, research by Peter Rowlston