Wreck of historical warship with unknown flag found off İzmir

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Turkish academics express excitement over the discovery of a warship, which is believed to have sunk in the 18th century and whose parts are widely scattered, off the coast from Foça in the Aegean province of İzmir.

The sunken warship is the latest in a long line of ships that have been found in the underwater excavations of the area.

The shipwreck was reached during the field works using sonar technology and a remote-controlled underwater robot.

Some 20 iron and bronze cannons, many cannonballs and pieces of sailing equipment were found on the sunken ship, which was detected at a depth of nearly 55 meters.

Wood belonging to the ship’s hull and brown Italian kitchenware were also found on the sea floor.

Some Plates, jugs, pipes and a piece of wooden spool among the finds were removed and have been delivered to the Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum.

The count of the wrecked warships found in the Izmir region rose to five with the latest find off Foça, which was once an important naval base during the Ottoman era.

The underwater excavations in the province started 15 years ago.

The Dokuz Eylül University (DEÜ) rector Nükhet Hotar said that the first domestic and national project to investigate the inventory of the country underwater started in 2005 and that significant works were carried out for the same.

“Reaching the details of the wreck is very exciting. Although we know that there was no sea war in that region, the discovery of a warship will perhaps shed light on our history,” Hotar said.

Harun Özdaş, a geophysical engineer in the research team, stated that they thought the ship, part of which was buried, was 35-40 meters long.

Stressing that the warship had both Ottoman and Italian origin kitchenware, Özdaş said that the ship could be a pirate ship or a ship sunk during a struggle between the Ottoman Empire and Italy.

“We do not encounter many warships in the seas, except on battlefields. The find will provide us with very detailed information such as the daily life of the period, shipbuilding technology, distribution of military ammunition, usage areas and forms of ammunition,” Özdaş said.

Noting that Foça was an important naval base during the Ottoman period, Özdaş emphasized that the port was a logistical support center for many wars.

“With the last shipwreck found, İzmir is in the center of the history of naval warfare. When we add the last shipwrecks to the sunken ships around Çeşme and Koyun Island, the city with the most sunken ships so far is İzmir,” Özdaş added.

Hurriyet Daily News

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