Turkey - Profile
- The attempted coup in July 2016 passed over Turkey's cruising grounds without noticeable effects. However, numerous terror attacks followed including an attack at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul in June, and another near Cappadocia in December.
- The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidelines state that "further attacks are likely". The US Department of State have issued a warning, which for the first time includes the provinces of Izmir and Mugla (popular with cruising boats).
- Turkey has more coastline than any other Mediterranean country - some 8400 kilometres. There are so many bays and coves, one can almost always pick a pretty anchorage within minutes of deciding to drop the anchor. Its diverse terrain covers nearly 800,000 square kilometres and shares borders with Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq and Syria.
- Marinas are generally first class with technical support and repair and haul-out facilities. Istanbul and Marmaris offer the most extensive technical support, though technical service is available almost everywhere. Some of the finest marinas are Park Kemer, Gocek, Bodrum and Atakoy.
- There are many pretty small harbours, such as Kalkan, where one can Med-moor to a quay or jetty with electricity and water. Overnight fees tend to be much more reasonable than those at marinas. A cruising guide such as Turkish Waters and Cyprus Pilot by Rod Heikell is essential to make the best of this country.
- In recent years there has been a considerable easing of formalities for yachts, however, 3 month visa restrictions, difficulty with residency in Turkey and rising prices has deterred many long-term cruisers from spending long in Turkey.
- Most cruising yachts sail in the southwest of the country, along the Mediterranean coast and the Aegean Sea, although the Sea of Marmara is also worth exploring and a sail through the heart of Istanbul is an exhilarating experience.
- Turkey's history spans almost 10,000 years. Along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts there are acres of ancient remains - many world-renowned - from the ruins of Greek cities to sunken Roman harbours and crusader castles.
- Although the Black Sea coast of Turkey lacks natural harbours, there are several sheltered ports while the spectacular coast can be enjoyed when day sailing from one such port to the next. Some of these ports tend to be crowded with local craft, so it pays to be there during the closed season for fishing, in July and August, when most trawlers are hauled out. A useful source of information for this part of Turkey's coast is to be found in the RCC guide, The Black Sea. See publications for the details.
- Fuel - Diesel is difficult to obtain as tanker lorries can no longer supply small ports. New regulations require tankers to have a specific (and expensive) license to supply yachts, as opposed to gulets. Plan fuelling stops well ahead and carry spare cans.
- Buy 20’ of chain for stern tying to rocks in Turkey. Chafe gear for lines used to tie to trees is necessary to avoid damaging trees. One can be fined for damaging trees. A 200ft line is necessary too.
- Holding tanks are required in Turkey so sort out any holding tank problems. The "Blue Card Scheme" (see reports adjacent and restrictions) now applies to the whole of Turkey's coastline, although it is sporadically enforced.
- For latest updates from cruisers in Turkey go to the Marmaris Bay Cruisers Blog.
Recent terrorist attacks from international and indigenous groups have targeted popular tourist sites. There have been incidents of cross-border shelling from Syria into Turkey. Visit the links above in Facts to both the UK FCO and the US Department of State for Travel Warnings and advice.
Due to the desperate attempts by the huge number of refugees to cross from Turkey to the Greek Islands, cruisers are advised to be particularly careful, especially at night. Report any sightings of boats carrying refugees to the Turkish Coastguard immediately on VHF channel 16. The Turkish Coast Guard officers mostly speak good English and their boats are fast enough to rescue the immigrants either by CG boats or Helicopters. See this RCCPF advice report.
Turkey is a safe cruising destination and reports of crime are few and far between.
Reports of boardings and thefts however continue to be received from yachts in more popular anchorages, mostly during the night when the boats were unoccupied and the owners ashore.
Anchorages from which noonsite has received break-in reports are Keci Buku, the bay south of Datca and Aksazlar Bay, north of Fethiye Ece Marina and Gocek Bay near Skopea Marina.
Thieving is an annual occurrence in the Spring in anchorages in many areas globally. Read more about how to keep your yacht safe and thefts reported in the area at this post by Marmaris Bay Cruisers.
Safety Advice - Black Sea Coast
Cruising yachts are advised not to be at sea after dark during the commercial fishing season due to the number of large trawlers out at night along this area of the coast.
Last updated January 2017.
Turkey's climate is varied, but typically Mediterranean with hot summers and mild winters. Lighter winds prevail along the Mediterranean coast and nights are usually calm. There is a heavy swell along this coast. In summer, the Aegean is dominated by the northerly Meltemi wind, which blows from May till the end of August and at its peak can be very strong. The Black Sea has more extremes and is more humid with the most rain.
Weather forecasts from Antalya every 3 hours available in summer time on VHF Chanel 67 preceded by an announcement on chanel 16. Same information is available on Navtex for current 24 hours with brief description of outlook for the next day.
Further forecasts can be obtained from www.marinaforecast.com.
GRIB Files (gridded information in binary code) for boats with internet access. Highly compressed GRIB files can be downloaded on slow internet connections or via email. Very useful as they give win speed and direction, surface pressure and rainfall rates. Times can be moved forward in 3 or 6 hour segments to show how the weather is expected to change. GRIB files are free unless higher resolution required in which case download a GRIB viewer from http//www.grib.us (preferably on land)
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.
Aegean Sea: Altinkum (Didim) * , Ayvalik * , Babakale , Bodrum * , Bozburun * , Bozcaada , Cesme * , Datca * , Dikili * , Ekincik , Eski Foca * , Gulluk * , Güzelbaçhe , Izmir * , Karacasogut, Gulf of Gokova , Kormen , Kusadasi * , Marmaris * , Oren , Orhaniye , Port Atami , Sigacik
Black Sea: Akcakoca , Amasra , Bartin , Caylioglu , Cide , Eregli * , Fatsa , Gerze , Giresun * , Hopa * , Igneada , Inebolu * , Kefken , Kurucasile , Ordu , Rize * , Samsun * , Sile , Sinop * , Trabzon * , Zonguldak *
Istanbul: Istanbul *
Northern Cyprus: Northern Cyprus
* indicates port of entry