What is Cabotage Day, Why is it Celebrated? The History, Importance and Meaning of Cabotage Festival

What is Cabotage Feast and Why Is It Celebrated The Historical Significance and Meaning of Cabotage Feast
What is Cabotage Day, Why is it Celebrated The History, Importance and Meaning of Cabotage Day

Maritime and Cabotage Day is a national holiday celebrated on July 1 every year. Cabotage is the right of a country to operate ships in its territorial waters and between its own ports and to keep all kinds of port services under its own control. The Great Turkish Dictionary gives the meaning of the word cabotage as “ship management work between the piers or ports of a country”. During the Ottoman Empire, the empire had no cabotage right. Because, due to the capitulation rights granted to Western countries, foreign-flagged boats usually served on the shores of the Ottoman Empire. However, in accordance with the Treaty of Lausanne signed on July 24, 1923, the capitulations were abolished. Thus, Turkey gained the right to cabotage.

Considering that Turkey is largely a peninsula and its coastline is 8333 kilometers, this provided a great opportunity for Turkish shipping. After the necessary arrangements were made, according to the law no. 19 enacted on April 1926, 815, only Turkish boats were obliged to serve between Turkish ports. The law entered into force on 1 July the same year. This date has been celebrated as Cabotage Day since 1935. In 2007, the word "maritime" was added to the word "cabotage" and the name of the holiday became Maritime and Cabotage Day. There is no general holiday on this holiday.


Cabotage Law, which was accepted on 20 April 1926 in our country, came into force on 1 July 1926 and this Law brought the provision that "Cargo and passenger transport, pilotage and tugboat services between Turkish ports and coasts are carried out by Turkish Citizens and ships carrying the Turkish Flag". He stated that these activities, which were open to foreigners before, can only be carried out by the citizens of the Republic of Turkey from now on. For this reason, we celebrate the 1st of July every year as the "Maritime and Cabotage Day".

The cabotage privilege granted by the Ottoman Empire to foreign ships within the framework of the capitulations was abolished in 1923 with the Lausanne Peace Treaty. It was also accepted on 20 April 1926. The Cabotage Law came into effect on July 1, 1926. According to this law; Keeping vehicles driven by machinery, sails and oars in rivers, lakes, the Sea of ​​Marmara and the straits, in all territorial waters and in gulfs, harbors, bays and similar places within them; Turkish citizens were given the right to transport goods and passengers with them. Also; It was stated that diving, piloting, captaining, engineering, crew and similar professions can be fulfilled by Turkish citizens. It was accepted that foreign ships could only carry people and cargo between Turkish ports and ports of foreign countries.


Cabotage is the privilege that a state grants to its ports regarding maritime trade. Since only their citizens can benefit from this privilege, it will make a significant contribution to the national economy, so the states have resorted to imposing a cabotage ban on foreign flagged ships. Some international conventions also contain provisions regarding the authority to impose a ban on cabotage.

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