Rahmi M. Koç Museum presents the story of state yachts that served during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz and the first years of the Republic to its visitors with the exhibition “Two Centuries of Tradition: Our State Yachts”. Oil paintings painted by collector Erdem Cever in accordance with their originality, each of the 24 yachts, which are legendary for their splendor, tell their own unique story. Saying that the number of oil paintings on Turkish ships is almost non-existent, Cever invites everyone to see these paintings by saying "Every ship is a floating city".
This time, Rahmi M. Koç Museum sheds light on civil maritime history with the exhibition “Two Centuries of Tradition: Our State Yachts”. Prepared by collector Erdem Cever, the exhibition traces the Ottoman influence of yachts, which have been the subject of fashion and prestige in European dynasties since the middle of the 19th century.
The exhibition, which can be seen until February 3, 2023, includes Talia, İstanbul, İsmail, Fuad and İzzettin, as well as Ertuğrul, the last big yacht bought by the Ottomans, which were ordered to England during the reign of Abdülaziz, who is known for his passion for the sea and ships. For the first time, the original paintings of the 24 yachts on which the ship is located are presented to the taste of art lovers.
Cever, who brought together the original paintings of 150 steamships carrying cargo and passengers both in the Ottoman period and in the Republican years, with his first exhibition at the Rahmi M. Koç Museum, "Time Traveling Ferries", says that the new exhibition is also a visual archive.
The last state yacht Savarona
Cever said, “In the Ottoman period before Abdulaziz, the ruler did not have a yacht in his service. When necessary, there were ships allocated to the ruler, sometimes warships and sometimes ships belonging to Tersane-i Amire. The first ship bearing the characteristics of a yacht was the Sultaniye, one of the large and ostentatious yachts of its time, which the Khedive of Egypt presented to Abdulaziz in 1862. After that, Abdülaziz, who was known for his passion for the sea and ships, ordered five similar yachts one after the other: Talia, İstanbul, İsmail, Fuad and İzzettin. Istanbul, which is white in color, was allocated to the Harem. The last big yacht that the Ottomans bought was Ertuğrul, and it served as a state yacht in the Republican era, along with the small Söğütlü. With the Savarona, which was taken to Atatürk and still active, this pleasant era that has lasted for nearly two centuries in our seas is about to come to an end.”
“Every ship is a floating city”
Emphasizing that the 24 ships in the exhibition also carry a different story, Cever makes the analogy of "Every ship is a floating city" for the ships that are built very solidly and last for many years. Stating that carbon tests of the ship named Kadırga, which is exhibited in the Naval Museum and used in Istanbul in the 17th century, found fragments from 1460, Cever said, “The galley was probably a Byzantine boat in the 15th century, before the conquest. 1300 is likely to be from the 1400's. Even the section where the sultan sits behind the galley is dated 1495 according to carbon tests,” he says.
Collected 700 ship books
Cever's interest in ships dates back to his childhood. Cever, who collected brochures and postcards of the ships he went on deck and visited in his early youth, started to collect ship books during his trips abroad in the following years. Cever, who collects 700 books from almost all over the world that contains only information and images about ships, hopes that the paintings he has drawn in accordance with the original will attract attention by young people as well as ship enthusiasts, and the interest in painting will increase.
Cever said that the number of oil paintings on Turkish ships in Turkey does not exceed the fingers of both hands. Thus, I created a visual archive of Turkey's civil maritime history. In the "Two Centuries of Tradition: Our State Yachts" exhibition, we presented the original painting of 150 state yachts and two private yachts, which were mentioned anonymously. Yachts are very beautiful boats. From the 22s, there are many yachts, large and small, used in government service today. Of course, the Abdülaziz period has a very important place in our yachting history. It is possible to see the yachts, which were carefully built in the best shipyards after 1860, in this exhibition.”
Günceleme: 08/12/2022 18:13