The Project Where Atatürk Introduced Contemporary Turkey to the World: Karadeniz Seyr-i Türkiye

karadeniz seyri türkiye, black sea ferry project, atatürk projects

The Republic of Turkey, which flourished after years of hard struggle, took the first steps of a great transformation under the leadership of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. With the declaration of the Republic, the revolutions that took place in the political, social, cultural, and economic fields had to be introduced to the world. A unique project was planned out for this: Karadeniz Seyr-i Türkiye.

Karadeniz Seyr-i Türkiye project is an example of an initiative that aims to show the world the rise and change of Turkey in the international arena. The story of the ship, which aims to visit various port cities of the world and announce the revolutions and developments in Turkey to the world, is quite interesting. Let’s get to know this project, which reveals the paths traveled by contemporary Turkey, as the October 29 Republic Day approaches.

A Dream Transformed from an Exhibition Idea into a Floating Ship

The Turkish delegation attending the Paris International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in 1925 was inspired by this and wanted to organize an exhibition introducing Turkey. However, with the concern that this exhibition might not be seen by a wide range of audiences, the minister of commerce of the time came up with a quite interesting idea.

Minister Ali Cenani proposed to show all the developments in our country by visiting important cities of the world through a mobile exhibition on the ferry. The products to be exhibited on the 130-berth ship, the catalogs, the people who will be on the ship, the orchestra, translators and all the people who will take part in banquets and ceremonies have been determined one by one. It took somewhere about a year to complete all these preparations.

Sailing to the World by a Ship from the Black Sea Project

When the calendar showed April 3, 1926, the Black Sea Ferry was taken into maintenance in the Golden Horn after making its last voyage in Izmir. The ship, whose original color was black, was painted white to emphasize the bright face of the republic and its interior design was made suitable for the exhibition. The ship passed to Atatürk’s control and started its journey on June 12, 1926.

A Route to the World’s Most Important Cities

The ship is prepared with extremely detailed and meticulous work. Atatürk admired the work so much that he wrote in the exhibition notebook that the display was very well prepared and that it gave him a good impression. Thus, there was an opportunity to exhibit many things from daily life to modernization moves in Turkey in important cities of Europe. Among the cities visited were Barcelona, London, Hamburg, Stockholm, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Venice, and Copenhagen.

A Rich Exhibition: From Food to Mines, from Technological Tools to Jewelry…

Turkey’s seven magnificent geographical regions came to life on the ferry in seven separate sections that are decorated with special and fascinating products. In these sections, each of items has its own richness such as:

  • Mines,
  • Herbal products offered by fertile lands,
  • The rarest agricultural products,
  • Original textures of hand craftsmanship,
  • Delicious snacks,
  • Fish,
  • Carefully prepared canned food and jam varieties,
  • Magical sounds of traditional music,
  • Valuable jewelry,
  • Latest technology products,
  • Elegant clothes of daily life were displayed.

These products in various categories underlined that the young Republic of Turkey was an original and creative country. At the same time, he emphasized that Turkey could be a country with great prestige on the international stage.

The 3-Month Journey Ended in Istanbul on September 5, 1926

When the ferry returned to home on September 5, 1926, it had visited 12 different countries and 16 cities for 86 days. During this magnificent journey, the ship hosted 44 experienced foreign guides and a total of approximately 65 thousand visitors visited the ship throughout the journey.

16 magnificent balls and banquets were held on the ship throughout the voyage. Inside the ship, there was a sales office where special products such as tobacco products, Hereke carpets, rare stones, Kütahya tiles and antique items were sold that would attract the attention of European guests. This added a special wealth to the ship.

The Important Names of Turkey were also on the Black Sea Ferry

Perhaps the most important thing that the Republic was proud of was that every citizen, men or women, had equal education and career opportunities. It is known that men and women who held some important positions in order to demonstrate the equality of men and women in Turkey to Western countries also traveled on this ferry.

Among the important names participating in the journey are Turkey’s first female reporter Bedia Arseven, Celal Bayar’s son Refii Bayar, teacher İclal Hanım, Orhan Veli Kanık’s musician father Veli Kanık, one of Turkey’s first female MPs Mebrure Gönenç and many more… All these names are very important in terms of showing how great things the young Republic of Turkey has achieved in a short time.

Karadeniz Seyr-i Türkiye Has Also Been the Subject of Many Documentaries

Such an important project was immortalized in the documentary titled “Karadeniz Seyr-i Türkiye” prepared by Soner Sevgi. In the documentary shot in 2006, many documents, photographs and news on the subject were scanned in various archives around the world.

Perhaps the Place Where Modernization Moves Are Considered: Atatürk’s Room No. 101

karadeniz seyri türkiye, black sea ferry project, atatürk projects

When the dates showed 1917, Atatürk signed the memoirs of Pera Palace Hotel. Atatürk, who stayed at this hotel many times between 1917 and 1926, was extremely pleased with the atmosphere of Pera Palace, which hosted many firsts in Istanbul. During his frequent visits Atatürk preferred Pera Palace Hotel, sometimes to make decisions for the future of the country and sometimes to host his important guests. Who knows, maybe he thought of the Karadeniz Seyr-i Türkiye project at Pera Palace Hotel!

Room 101 was a special place that witnessed Atatürk’s important times and used it as his home. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, this room was turned into a museum in order to keep Atatürk’s memory alive forever. In the room, which was converted into a museum in 1981, Atatürk’s cherished memories are kept alive meticulously.

You can visit Pera Palace Hotel to be around the fascinating atmosphere of Pera Palace Hotel, visit the room where Atatürk stayed on the 100th anniversary of the Republic and most importantly, shape the future by taking inspiration from history.

These articles may also be of interest to you:

9 Places Where You Can See the Personal Belongings of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Museums You Can Visit with Your Children on National Sovereignty and Children’s Day

A Journey to History: The Orient Express Story

The Importance of May 19 the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day in its 104th Anniversary

The Story Of The Establishment of the Republic of Turkey In Its 96th Year

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