Alemdar, aka Gazi Alemdar, was a former Turkish salvage tug, which is best known for her victorious engagement with a French navy warship during the Turkish War of Independence. Built in 1898 in Denmark, the Danish-flagged vessel was seized by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. She served under Turkish flag until her scrapping in 1982. Since 2008, a replica of her serves as a museum ship at the port of Karadeniz Ereğli, Turkey.
|Port of registry:|
|Builder:||Helsingørs Jemsk & Maka Helsingør|
|Out of service:||1982|
|Tonnage:||363 gross register tons (GRT)|
|Length:||49.5 m (162 ft)|
|Beam:||8.0 m (26.2 ft)|
|Draught:||4.0 m (13.1 ft)|
|Speed:||10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)|
Built by Helsingørs Jemsk & Maka in Denmark, she was launched on 4 June 1898, and christened Danmark. On 21 May 1899, she began her service life in the company Danmark Em 2 Sviter Bjerg Enterprise Copenhagen. In accordance with the Capitulations of the Ottoman Empire, foreign-flagged ships were allowed to serve in Ottoman territorial waters, and Danmark was one of the ships serving in the Ottoman territorial waters. However, during World War I, the Ottoman Empire abolished the capitulations and took hold of the ship. In May 1915, she was renamed Alemdar, and continued its service in the Ottoman Empire. Her home port became İstanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire.
Alemdar’s escape to nationalistsEdit
During a salvage operation in the mouth of Kızılırmak River (Hallys of the antiquity) the ship crew came together with the Turkish nationalists, who were fighting against the Allies as well as the Ottoman government. Inspired by the nationalists, the chief engineer Osman decided to join the nationalists. On 5 February 1921, Alemdar with a crew of 7, sailed to Karadeniz Ereğli to join the nationalists under the pretext of a salvage operation. They consigned the ship to the nationalists. The number of the crew was now 21 excluding Osman who fell ill in Karadeniz Ereğli. The nationalists decided to send the ship to a port in eastern Black Sea, where Allied control was less severe.
Alemdar’s legendary operationEdit
The Allies high commander gave strict orders to arrest the crew and bring the ship back. On the night of 8 February 1921 when Alemdar was trying to sail to east, the French gunboat C-27 waiting in ambush out of Karadeniz Ereğli harbor, caught Alemdar. The French navy was especially active in western Black Sea because of the coal mines in Zonguldak, which is situated to the east of Karadeniz Ereğli. French commander Tilli and a small platoon embarked the ship, and the ship was directed to İstanbul with the gunboat in rear. After a short voyage, however, the crew overtook the French soldiers by surprise, and redirected the ship back to Karadeniz Ereğli. The gunboat opened fire, but fearing to wound the French soldiers, they didn’t use their heavy guns. In Karadeniz Ereğli harbor, the French gunboat maneuvered sailing between Alemdar and the pier. But this was not a wise choice; because the nationalists in Karadeniz Ereğli opened fire from the pier. According to Erol Mütercimler while the casualty of Alemdar was one death (Recep Kahya) and three wounded soldiers, the casualty of C-27 was two deaths and three wounded soldiers. The gunboat retreated. According to the agreement reached on 2 March, the French military personnel who were held captive were released and the French navy promised not to interfere Alemdar’s voyage. This was a relatively small clash. But the news of arresting an allied commander brought a big morale for the nationalists.
On 25 September, Alemdar sailed to Trabzon. In 1922, four cannons were mounted on board, and Alemdar began serving as one of the few warships of the nationalists. In 1929, she was sold to Turkish Maritime Lines returning to her civilian service. After several handovers, she was finally scrapped in 1982.
In 2008, a replica of Alemdar moored at the port of the Karadeniz Ereğli (museum ship named Turkish: Gazi Alemdar Müze Gemisi. It was reported that 145,000 tourists from all over the world, more than the city's population of 102,000, visited the museum ship in 2013.), and opened to public on August 8 as a
The technical details were
|Length||49.47 metres (162.3 ft)|
|Width||7.95 metres (26.1 ft)|
|Draft (hull)||4.01 metres (13.2 ft)|
|Displacement (ship)||363 GRT 192 Nt.|
The above dates are in Gregorian calendar. In some sources the dates are given in Rumi calendar which was the official Turkish calendar in 1921. There is a difference of 13 days between the two. (i.e. February 5 in Gregorian calendar is January 23 in Rumi calendar.)
- "Alemdar Gemisi efsanesi, turizmle sürüyor". Sabah (in Turkish). 2014-01-10. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "Gazi Alemdar müze gemisini 600 bin kişi ziyaret etti". Zaman (in Turkish). 2013-10-26. Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- Aksel, Serol (2013-10-08). "Kurtuluş Savaşının kahraman gemisi: Alemdar". Radikal (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "Alemdar Gemisi Olayı" (in Turkish). Ereğli Kömür Tarihi. Archived from the original on 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
- Demiroğlu, Atılay Durmaz. "Alemdar Destanı" (in Turkish). Karadeniz Ereğli Belediyesi. Archived from the original on 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
- Mütercimler, Erol (2005). Bu Vatan Böyle Kurtuldu. İstanbul: Alfa Kitap. p. 405-416. ISBN 975-297-460-0.