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  • Writer's pictureYaman


After the death of Atatürk, Savarona (Atatürk's Yatch) did not sail again until after World War II when the Turkish Navy used her as a training ship. I can confirm from the ephemera in my archive that Savarona anchored between Burgazada and Heybeliada in 1952-1954 and was used as a training ship. Frankly, when I first got the ephemera, I thought it might be the Atatürk era. There was no writing on the back. When I examined it carefully, I noticed the scaffoldings set up for the restoration in Aya Yani Church. An anonymous photograph of the workers working in the church restoration from 1952 completed the missing information in me.

From Burgaz to Heybeli (original text is wrong, just the opposite)

Aya Yani Church restoration 1952, anonymous

Later, I came across a second ephemera, where Savarona anchored at the same spot. This time, behind him was the following letter, dated 21 November 1954, by an officer from Heybeliada Naval High School. This article has confirmed the information that Savarona is the training ship of Heybeliada Naval High School.

Dear Nicole, This view is the sight of Heybeliada (Halki) from Burgaz adası (Antigone) (Our school is Heybeliada) At the opposite side, you see the buildings of Heybeliada. You cannot see our school. Because it is behind hill. The white ship that is in the middle is our school ship (Savarona). You see Anatolia shore at too far. 21/XI/1954 H.Ada Yours (Name not fully readable)

The last ephemera of the Savarona Yacht in my archive, as viewed from Heybeliada on 15 August 1953. While looking for other photos taken from this angle, I came across one in a previous auction catalogue.

Lastly, I have never come across any information about Atatürk's arrival in Burgazada, which I have always wondered about, but we can follow from the ephemera below that he made a yatch tour as far as Burgazada.

May 25, 1935

Atatürk's arrival to Büyükada, departing from Yalova in the evening for his island visits...

May 26, 1935

Atatürk's reception of the American female journalist Gladys Baker and his return to Dolmabahçe from Büyükada in the evening with the Kalamış ferry...

May 27, 1935

He toured as far as Burgazada, and on his way back he visited the newly opened Şişecam glass factory in Paşabahçe.

May 31, 1935

Atatürk's passing from Istanbul to Yalova by ferry in the morning... He arrived at Heybeliada at 16.00 and returned to Istanbul after staying for a while...

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