Turkish Transit Log Renewal Procedures – Istanbul (Atakoy Marina) September 2014

Cruising on a yacht in Turkish waters requires a Transit Log which must be purchased and then authorised before it becomes active. Coming from the Danube or other points on the Black Sea, Istanbul may be the closest port of entry. It also may be the easiest entry point for boats coming directly from Mediterranean waters, bound for the Black Sea. We already had a Transit Log from a year earlier and so “only” had to renew it.

Based on our learning experience of 2013, we had reserved a visitor berth at Ataköy Marina for the purpose of renewing our Transit Log which was about to expire. We set our arrival for a Monday so as to have the maximum number of business days available in case things took longer. We moored on the fuel dock and attempted to explain to the staff that we had a reservation for a visitor berth. This got nowhere and finally they called the Marina Operations Chief Ilyas Korkmaz who we had made reservation through. He greeted us, assigned us a berth and told us to come up to the office when we were ready. As with our write up from 2013, most of this information we owe to Ilyas Korkmaz.

The procedure for renewal of a Transit Log in 2014 appears to be a subset of the full procedure we followed in 2013, the main thing being that the Health Office and Passport Police are not involved in a renewal. Below are the steps of the procedure for self-renewing from Ataköy Marina with comments and links to pictures of the relevant buildings or office signs:

Documents Required

  1. A letter on Ataköy Marina letterhead stating the boat is moored in the marina.
    – this was produced for us by the Marina Operations Chief
  2. Boat registration, Insurance and call sign (if there is one)
  3. Captains license (if required by flagged country)
  4. Passport(s)
    – passports will be requested for everyone listed as crew on the Transit Log
  5. Old (i.e. expiring) Transit Log

Steps to Follow

  1. Moor in the berth assigned by the Ataköy control tower, collect the required documents and proceed to the Marina Office where you must pay for your first night in order for the marina to issue a letter stating that you are a “berth holder” under contract and that your boat is lying in the marina.
    – If you are without local currency than there are about 5 ATMs by the fast ferry terminal which is reached by going to the right from pontoon “G” and walking around the restaurant complex.
  2. With your documents in hand head to the Golden Horn
    – the railway is being rebuilt and so as of 2014 only the busses are running, take bus BN1, BN2 or 81 (we never saw an 81 bus)
    – bus tickets are on electronic cards which you buy for a specified number of trips, Ataköy to the Golden Horn is considered a single trip, the cards are available for 1, 2, 5 and 10 trips, they are bought from the kiosk to the left of the ATM machines, immediately at the beginning of the walkway to the bus stop and the pedestrian overpass, for two people traveling on one card the card is simply swiped twice when entering the bus
    – take the bus to the last or second to last stop (these two stops being on either side of the southern end of the Galata bridge over the Golden Horn), walk across the Golden Horn to the area at the north end which is called Karaköy. As a point of interest Karaköy is an area with multiple chart agents, ships agents and ship’s chandlers. Although directed towards commercials shipping they have some supplies of use to yachts.
  3. Chamber of Shipping, Meclisi Mebusan Caddesi No: 22, Findikli
    Either walk up the tram line (about 20 minutes) or take tram T1 Kabatas to the second stop Findikli (token for tram is 2 lira, from auto-mat, but not the same as for the ferries). Get off the tram and cross the street to the right, towards the harbor, turn right and proceed 300 m, to the Chamber of Shipping Building (Deniz Tacaret Odasi).
    – closed 1200 – 1330 for lunch
    – The transit log costs 188.00 lira and can be paid for in lira, euros, etc or with a credit card.
    – The log is registered into the computer system at the Chamber of Shipping (this is the part that didn’t work in 2013).
    – The clerk may try an enter your ports of call which are better left blank as some harbours will not admit the boat if they are not listed whereas an empty list is assumed to cover any port.
  4. Harbour Masters Office
    Retrace your route back to the north end of the bridge over the Golden Horn, follow the street closest to the waterfront until you come to an open square. The harbour master building is facing the water on the righthand side of the square.
    When you enter the main door go up the stairs and turn to the left, you will be in a waiting room for some service wickets. You do not want those service wickets and do not need a number, Rather you need to go into the office immediately to the left as you reach the top of the stairs. This is the office for the Harbour Master who will ask for the relevant papers, process the Transit Log and hand it back to you.
  5. Customs
    Return to Ataköy Marina where the Customs Office is located near the Travel Lift in the boat yard. In 2013 we had no problems at Customs but in 2014 the officer on duty insisted that there be a Turkish language covering letter saying what documents we were giving him. We had to walk across the boat yard to the Ataköy Marina reception who kindly typed up a letter stating that we were submitting documents as required. We then returned to the Customs building and submitted the documents with the covering letter.
    This will be the third and final required Transit Log stamp for a renewal.
  6. Finally go to the Ataköy Marina reception where they will photocopy your Transit Log.
    You are now “street legal”, officially in Turkey and officially in Ataköy Marina.

Note: We started out at 9 AM and finished up the procedure at 1 minute before the closing time of 5 PM.

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