Sections of Bodrum Maritime Museum

Model boats

Bodrum Maritime Museum has different sections. The largest section consists of the model boats made by Mr.Ali Kemal Denizaslani who passed away in August 2012 at his late 60’s. I have never met him but I wish I could.

A model boat from Bodrum Maritime Museum

I know Bodrum locals were calling him as Chief or Grand Master because he was a highly skilled craftsman. He had started his life as a sailor then became a ship maker and. I don’t know why but he had finally decided to sell his shipyard and concentrated on making scaled models of the ships which were being used in Bodrum for transportation, sponge diving and fishing.

An information card from the museum

With the Bodrum Maritime Museum project, he had donated these models as a contribution for keeping the Bodrum’s recent maritime history alive.

For me, I am impressed not only for the great details on the models but also the information provided next to them. Each model has a short description; who was the owner, when it was operating, where was it built and a picture of the owner.

Isn’t it wonderful? Models of real ships which were used for fishing, sponge diving and transportation in this small Aegean village with tribute to the real owners. I like it!

Sea shells

Another section of the museum comes from another great person, Mr.Hasan Gulesci. He is a former CEO of one of the biggest corporations of Turkey. He has been collecting sea shells from all over the world for over 50 years. His amazing and rare collection is in the Bodrum Maritime Museum now.

After spending almost all his life for gathering different and unique sea shells from everywhere he went, this gentleman decided to donate his years of hard work and chosen to share, not keeping for his pleasure. It should be one of the most difficult thing in the world for a collection owner. I know because I have been collecting stamps since I was 5 and even thinking of giving them away makes me feel ill.

As much as I can learn, it is not the whole collection being displayed at the museum. This collection is so huge that they are still working on classifying the rest of the shells scientifically. So they can provide the most accurate information on the origins and the families of these sea shells.

Sea shells from Hasan Gulesci collection
Sea shells from Hasan Gulesci collection

The Fisherman of Halicarnassus

Did you hear about The Fisherman of Halicarnassus? His real name was Cevat Sakir and was exiled to Bodrum in 1925 for 3 years because of an article he wrote in a newspaper. Yes, Bodrum was a place for exiles in the beginning of 20th century.

The Fisherman of Halicarnassus

After settling in Bodrum, he felt in love with Bodrum and pure, untouched Aegean culture. He started to write novels and stories about the life stories of the locals and stayed in Bodrum 25 years.

After settling in Bodrum, he felt in love with Bodrum and pure, untouched Aegean culture. He started to write novels and stories about the life stories of the locals and stayed in Bodrum 25 years.

There is a section in Bodrum Maritime Museum who is dedicated to The Fisherman of Halicarnassus is there is a corner dedicated to him in Bodrum Maritime Museum. To learn more about his roller-coaster like life, please visit short biography of The Fisherman of Halicarnassus.

Although it is great to see some items belonging to such a great and important writer whose name is identified with Bodrum itself, I have some friendly complaints about this section which I feel I need to explain.

There should have been a museum solely dedicated to him. He is a famous writer whose books are still being read even in high schools and he is one of the most important values of Bodrum. He lived in a house by the sea side and that house still exists. Unbelievable but it is a fast food restaurant at the moment. I hope he will get what he deserves soon.

Anyway, I am thankful to Bodrum Maritime Museum for reserving a display area for Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, The Fisherman.

Sponge diver in Bodrum Maritime Museum

The others

You will also have a lots of quality information about the marine history, ancient and recent, on the walls. I am also using these information which are provided in both Turkish and English in preparing

Life under the Mediterranean Sea is in danger of extinction from Iberia coasts to Southern Turkey. In Bodrum, the situation is not different. The rumors say sponges which were the main income sources of these coasts are already gone forever. I have heard it even from the people who was born and raised in Bodrum. But I have also heard that this is not the case.

The sponges didn’t extinct completely yet, but they are about to. To prove this fact and to take attention on the danger of extinction, there are some sponge samples are being displayed in Bodrum Maritime Museum among with the historical information of the sponge diving.

There is also a small gift shop inside the reception where you can find souvenirs for your friends and family. After all, this is a private museum which needs regular income to be able to keep the doors open to its visitors.

In conclusion, if you are interested in local history and culture of Bodrum, it is worth to visit Bodrum Maritime Museum. I know some people who put great effort in keeping alive this museum and I am sure they will be happy to hear from you. If you want to share your ideas, experience and critics with them, I believe they will do their best to take any necessary action to make this museum a better one.

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