Mediterranean ports of Izmır, Cesme seek to attract cruise ship, yacht tourists
The Port of Izmir will be divided into sections for cargo and passenger ships, and an additional port and piers will be built to attract more cruise ships and yachts, Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the new Cesme Marina, Yildirim said the moves come in line with an agreement between the Izmir provincial governor, city mayor and the Privatization Administration (OIB). The number of cruise ships coming to Izmir annually has risen from 18 to 29, Yildirim said, and the port can't meet the demand. "We will add two more finger piers to the passenger port," he said. "The facility will also contribute to tourism in the city." Yildirim said the new port would be built under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model and that 400 million Turkish liras would be invested there in the short term. With the new investments, Izmir and nearby Cesme are poised to emerge as yacht tourism hubs, he said. "Turkey should get a greater share of the nearly 1 million private boats sailing the Mediterranean," he said. "With the enterprises that opened last year, Turkey's capacity rose from 10,000 to 15,000. By 2013, we should have 50,000."