Sailing and Boating in Turkey

Information about the rules on registering new boats and competancy certificates, including details of local sailing associations...

The coastline of Turkey is spread over the Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara and Black Seas and is a very popular sailing destination. There are also inland lakes – the largest if which is Lake Van in the far east of the country.

The Turkish Sailing Federation (Türk Yelken Federasyonu) can provide information about competitions, seminars, and tips on sailing in Turkey.

Below is information on:

Emergencies at Sea

  • Turkish Coast Guard Command (Türk Sahil Güvenlik Ekibi)
    At: No. 10 Bakanliklar, 06650 Ankara
    Emergencies: 158
    Tel: 0312 417 50 50/52
    Fax: 0312 417 28 45
  • Coastal Security Directorates (Kiyi Güvenlik Müdürlügü)
    Tel: 0212 580 98 98 Ext. 130
    Short-wave frequency: VHF, MF, and HF bands


  • For up-to-date weather information from the Turkish State Meteorological Service: Click here

Certificate of Competence

A Certificate of Competence for Operators of Pleasure Craft (Amatör Denizcilik Belgesi) is needed in order to captain a private boat, or to sail for leisure or sport. It cannot be used for commercial activities and is valid for the following craft:

  • Motorised private boats
  • Yachts between 2.5m and 24m in length and up to 50 gross tons in weight

Foreigners with a Turkish residence permit can get a Certificate of Competence once they have the requisite documents and have passed a theory examination. To qualify for the examination the following documents are required:

  • Two medical reports: A medical report from an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) stating that the applicant is able to pilot a boat (a medical report from a general practitioner (GP) is insufficient), and a medical report from an ophthalmologist stating that the applicant is not colour blind and does not suffer from night blindness
  • Proof of Identity
  • One photograph
  • Fee

The examination, which takes place four times per year in February, May, August, and November, is computer-based and can be applied for online through the Marine Portal. To pass the examination, a minimum score of 60 out of 100 has to be achieved.

There is an examination centre in Istanbul, although candidates can take the examination elsewhere in Turkey as well.

  • For more information about venues and dates: Click here
  • For further information:
    Tel: 0212 662 64 58
    Fax: 0212 574 58 69

Short Range Certificate

A Short Range Certificate (Kisa Mesafeli Telsiz Operatörü Yeterlilik Belgesi), which is accepted internationally, is needed for boats equipped with a shortwave radio. The certificate can only be obtained by taking an examination. Applicants must be aged 18 and over.

The exam takes place four times a year in February, May, August, and November. It is computer-based and can be applied for online through the Marine Portal. The certificate is valid for five years, after which it is extended for another five years.

Registering a New Boat

To register a new boat the following documents are required:

  • Purchase invoice
  • Proof of identity
  • CE compatibility document (which shows that the craft is compatible with EU standards)
  • Fire extinguisher and life jacket invoices
  • Registration fee

The registration certificate, issued by the Regional Directorates of Maritime Affairs, or Port Administration, is in both Turkish and English and gives information about the boat’s technical features.

Boat taxes

A number of taxes must be paid when registering a new boat:

  • Special Consumption Tax – Özel Tüketim Vergisi (ÖTV) which is eight percent of the purchase price
  • Value Added Tax – Katma De?er Vergisi (KDV) charged to Turkish citizens only, who pay 18 percent on the purchase price. Foreigners are exempt from this tax
  • Motorised Vehicle Tax – Motorlu Ta??tlar Vergisi (MTV) annual tax on a boat’s engine. This tax is no longer applicable and has been replaced by an annual charge for all motor boats; the amount charged depends on the size of the boat

Registering a private boat purchased abroad

The following documents are required when registering a boat purchased abroad by a foreigner:

  • Application form
  • Document which proves that the boat's registration was cancelled in its country of origin. If there is no document which proves that the registration was cancelled, then the boat's registration document from its country of origin is needed
  • Letter of commitment stating that the cancelled registration document will be supplied

Regulations for Foreign Boats in Turkey

Yachts entering or leaving Turkey must enter or depart from frontier ports. There are no fixed harbour charges, but some ports of entry may charge a small fee for mooring. Stays in marinas, however, are charged.

Transit log

For a foreign-flagged yacht to enter Turkish waters, a Yacht Registration Form (Transit Log - Yat Kayit Belgesi) is needed.

The Log consists of two forms:

  • Y1 – which must be completed on entering Turkey
  • Y2 – which must be completed on departing from Turkey

The Turkish Transit Log is valid for one year and allows a yacht to travel freely among ports in Turkey. Foreign-flagged boats in Turkey should have their Transit Log renewed every year. Once the owner of a boat leaves Turkish waters, the Transit Log is cancelled automatically. The Log gives the following information:

  • Start port
  • Route
  • End port
  • List of crew members, who must have valid passports with a stamp that indicates the port and date of entry
  • Passenger list

A Transit Log can be obtained from any of the following establishments:

  • Chamber of Shipping (Denizciler Odasi)
  • Directorates of Customs (Gümrük Müdürlükleri)
  • Marinas (Marinalar)

Sailing Clubs in Istanbul

  • Istanbul Yacht Club (Istanbul Yelken Klübü, in Turkish): Information about sailing competitions and training centres in Istanbul. A popular club in Istanbul, where annual membership fees are high
    At: Fenerbahçe, Istanbul
    Tel: 0216 336 06 33
    Fax: 0216 346 27 37
  • Marmara Yacht Club: Information about sailing competitions, sport and social facilities, as well as training courses
    At: Bagdat Road. Cami Str. No. 17, 34728, Erenköy, Istanbul
    Tel: 0216 355 48 13
    Fax: 0216 360 90 07
  • Moda Sea and Yacht Club: Information about social activities and yachting courses
    At: Moda Road Ferit Tek str. No. 1, 81300, Moda Kadiköy, Istanbul
    Tel: 0216 346 90 72
    Fax: 0216 346 97 08
  • For a complete list of yacht clubs in Turkey: Click here (in Turkish)

Sailing Vocabulary

Turkish English
Bot, tekne Boat
Can yele?i Life jacket
Dalga Wave
Dalmak Dive
Demirlemek Anchor
Deniz Sea
K?sa seyahat Excursion
Liman Port
Tekne gezisi Boat trip
Yat Yacht
Yelkenci Sailor
Yelken sürmek Sail