List of maritime incidents in the Turkish Straits

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The list of maritime incidents in the Turkish Straits is a listing of major maritime casualties that occurred in the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits in Turkey. Shipping accidents are a threat to the maritime environment and to human life in the highly populated areas around the Straits.

These two Straits are today among the busiest and most critical seaways in the world, and because of the Bosphorus's status as the narrowest strait used for international navigation, maritime disasters have been common.


The Bosphorus is a narrow "S-shaped" channel of complex nature with several sharp turns and headlands, which prevent a proper look-out, and with changing currents. Such geographical and oceanographic conditions make the navigation, open to international shipping, very difficult and risky.

The density of maritime traffic in Bosphorus, which link Black Sea to Marmara Sea, has increased elevenfold from around 4,400 ships passing annually in 1936, when Montreux Convention was signed to regulate transit and navigation in the Straits, to an average of 48,000 vessels per year recently. With 132 vessels transit daily, not including local traffic, it ranks second to Malacca Straits in density.

During the period from 1953 to 2002, 461 maritime incidents occurred in the Istanbul Strait or in its southern entrance at the Marmara Sea. The majority were collisions.[1]

  • December 14, 1960 – Yugoslavian flagged M/T Petar Zoranić of Croatian operator from Zadar Jugotanker (today Tankerska plovidba), carrying 12.065 tons of highly inflammable 90-octane benzine and 11.330 tons of diesel fuel,[2] collided with the Greek tanker M/T World Harmony at Kanlıca Point. 20 ships officers and crew died, both masters included. 18,000 tons of oil spilled and caused pollution. Fire lasted for some weeks and suspended transit traffic. The Turkish vessel Tarsus collided into the Zoranić and burnt with it.
  • September 15, 1964 - Norwegian flagged vessel Norborn allided with the wreck of Pjetar Zoranić at Kanlıca Point. Fire broke out and oil spilled.
  • March 1, 1966 – Two Soviet flagged vessels M/T Lutsk and M/T Cransky Oktiabr collided at Maiden's Tower Point. 1,850 tons oil spilled, caught fire and caused the Turkish passenger ferryboat Kadıköy and the ferry boat terminal of Karaköy burn completely.
  • July 3, 1966 – Turkish passenger ferryboat Yeni Galatasaraty collided with the lumber-carrying Turkish coaster Aksaray. 13 people died in the following fire.
  • November 18, 1966 – Turkish passenger ferryboat Bereket hit the Romanian flagged Ploeşti[3]. 8 people drowned.
  • July 1, 1970 – Italian vessel Ancona ran ashore and caused the downfall of a building under construction. 5 people died.
  • December 27, 1972 – Two Turkish vessels, the passenger ferryboat Turan Emeksiz and the cargo ship M/V Sönmezler collided. 5 people died.
  • April 21, 1979 – Romanian flagged vessel M/V Karpat collided with the Turkish ship M/V Kefeli. 11 people died.
  • November 15, 1979 - Romanian registered M/T Independenta collided with Greek ship M/V Evriali at Haydarpaşa Point. 42 people died in the exploding Romanian tanker. 94,600 tons of crude oil spilled and the following fire lasted weeks.
  • April 2, 1980 – Greek ship M/V Elsa collided with the Soviet vessel M/V Moskovosky. 2 people died.
  • November 9, 1980 - British vessel Nordic Faith collided with Greek flagged ship Stravanda. Fire broke out.
  • September 24, 1985 – Turkish Navy fast attack boat TCG Meltem collided with a Soviet Navy warship. Meltem sunk and five Turkish marines died.[4]
  • October 29, 1988 – Maltese registered ammoniac carrier M/T Blue Star allided with the Turkish crude oil tanker M/T Gaziantep, which was on anchor at Ahırkapı Point. 1,000 tons ammoniac spilled in the Marmara Sea.
  • March 25, 1990 – Iraqi tanker M/T Jampur carrying gasoline collided with the Chinese flagged bulk carrier M/V Da Tung Shang at Sarıyer Point. 2,600 tons of oil spilled from Jampur and caused severe pollution.
  • November 14, 1991 - Philippines flagged M/V Madonna Lily collided with the Lebanese flagged live stock carrier M/V Rabunion XVIII at Anadoluhisarı Point. 5 people died. 21,000 sheep drowned in the Lebanese vessel sunk and their corpses caused a major pollution.
  • March 13, 1994 – Crude oil carrier M/T Nassia collided with the bulk carrier M/V Shipbroker, both Cyprus registered. 27 people lost their lives. 9,000 tons of petroleum spilled and 20,000 tons burnt four days long affecting the marine environment severely. Traffic in the Strait was suspended for several days and Shipbroker burnt totally.
  • December 29, 1999 - Russian tanker M/T Volganeft-248 grounded at Florya Point with 4,000 tons of fuel-oil on board and split into two pieces. 1,500 tons of oil spilled to the sea. Clean-up operation of the contaminated recreational beaches took about two years.
  • On October 7, 2002 - Maltese vessel M/V Gotia stranded at Bebek Point. 22 tons oil spilled causing environmental damage to the boats in the marina and the structures at the waterfront.[5]
  • On November 10, 2003 - Georgian flagged cargo ship GGC Svyatoy Panteleymon ran aground off Anadolufeneri and broke into two pieces. Around 500 tons of oil spilled and caused pollution.[6]
  • Early on 4 May 2013, the ferries Erdem Karadeniz and Kalamis collided in heavy fog, injuring four passengers.[7]
  • On 6 September 2013, the Turkish general-cargo ship Erhan Araz (IMO 8512059) ran aground near Beykoz.[8]
  • On 14 September, 2013, the Togolese general-cargo ship Captain Omar (IMO 7396654) experienced engine failure during transit of the straits. She was towed to Beykoz.[9]
  • On 1 October 2013, at the Black Sea entrance to the strait, the Turkish general-cargo ship Anafarta (IMO 6720066) took on water. She was intentionally grounded to prevent her from sinking. The crew were safely taken off.[10]
  • On 22 October, 2013, The Cambodian general-cargo ship Volgo-Balt 193 (IMO 8230302) suffered a mechanical problem in transit near Maiden's Tower that required her to be towed to a safe harbor.[11]
  • Late on 28 October, 2013, the Maltese chemical tanker YM Miranda (IMO 9554755) suffered an engine fire in the straits. In distress, the master deployed one or more anchors. These destroyed one fiber-optic undersea cable and damaged another near Anadolu Hisari. The straits were closed as tugboats rendered assistance.[12]
  • November 13, 2013, the liquid propane gas tanker Tala (IMO 8012114) suffered an engine failure requiring the assistance of a tug.[13]


  • April 4, 1953 - Turkish Navy submarine TCG Dumlupınar collided with the Swedish flagged freighter M/V Naboland. Dumlupınar sunk taking 81 of 86 submariners into the depth.[14]


The number of shipwrecks as of 2000 within the Turkish Straits is as follows (totaling 35):

  • 23 in the Istanbul Strait
  • 3 in the Marmara Sea
  • 9 in the Çanakkale Strait


  1. ^ Shipping accidents: a serious threat for marineenvironment
  2. ^ Noć kad je Bospor gori, author Marijan Žuvić
  3. ^ §
  4. ^ Newspaper Milliyet January 21, 1999 (Turkish)
  5. ^ Some of the major casualties in the Strait of Istanbul during the past years
  6. ^ The Effect of the Dense Maritime Traffic On the Bosphorus Strait and Marmara Sea Pollution
  7. ^ Ferries collision in Istanbul, 4 passengers injured, Maritime Bulletin, 4 May 2013
  8. ^ Freighter Erhan Araz aground, Istanbul, Maritime Bulletin, 6 September 2013
  9. ^ Freighter Captain Omar suffered engine failure in Bosphorus, Maritime Bulletin, 14 September 2013
  10. ^ Freighter Anafarta intentionally grounded to avoid sinking, Bosphorus; Maritime Bulletin, 1 October 2013
  11. ^ Volgo-Balt 193 disabled while transiting Bosphorus, 23 October 2013, Maritime Bulletin
  12. ^ Tanker YM Miranda closed Bosphorus and broke two fiber cables, Istanbul; Maritime Bulletin, 29 October 2013
  13. ^ LPG tanker Tala suffered engine failure in Bosphorus, Marine Bulletin, 13 November 2013
  14. ^ Turkish Maritime Research Foundation