The 446-foot (136m) M/Y Savarona, the presidential yacht of the Republic of Turkey, is back in government service. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will use the yacht to host heads of state when he travels. The yacht enables Erdoğan to host guests “on Turkish territory” while on trips abroad.
The yacht was placed back into presidential service in early March when Erdoğan hosted Bakir Izetbegovic, chairman of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Savarona was the official yacht of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Built for the daughter of Brooklyn Bridge chief engineer John A. Roebling, it launched in 1931 and has 17 suites. It was sold to Turkey in 1938 and presented to Atatürk as a gift. Atatürk was only able to spend six weeks aboard the yacht before his death on Nov. 10, 1938.
It was leased to a Turkish businessman for a time, but reverted to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in January 2014. Restoration work on the yacht continues, according to a story in the Hurriyet Daily News.