Last modified: 2020-05-31 by ivan sache
Keywords: koçtuğ maritime business |
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House flag of Koçtuğ - Image by Jarig Bakker, 13 February 2006
Koçtuğ is named for its two founders, Sıtkı Koçman and Selahattin Göktuğ, who graduated at the Zonguldak School of Mining in 1931 and 1928, respectively.
The two young engineers visited Belgium's coal mines to increase their knowledge and experience. Back to Turkey, Koçman was hired by the Stanley Paterson company to manage chrome mines in the Muğla region, while Göktuğ enrolled in the public administration. After the nationalization and closure of the mine, Koçman returned to İstanbul, where he founded two commercial companies in 1940.
The two friends met again in 1948 when the Turkish government decided to re-activate the exploitation of the Karakaklık chrome mine in Fethiye. Koçman established a partnership with the German company Krupp, which withdrew from Iran chrome mines. Koçman and Göktuğ organized export of chrome ore to US and Europe; the extracted material was transported by camels to barges and eventually ships in sea ports. Camels were subsequently substituted by heavy-duty trucks manufactured by Krupp, also the owner of the shipyards in Bremerhaven.
The Koçtuğ shipping company was registered in 1956. The first two newbuilt ships, ordered in 1955, were named Fethiye (1957) and Muğla (1958). Fethiye sailed between Akçay and Emden, filled with iron ore and returning empty, while Muğla sailed between Turkey and the US, filled with chrome ore. The latter line, not profitable, was substituted by shipping of bulk phosphate rock, milk powder, telephone poles ... to Greece. A young captain hired in 1958 modernized the system, establishing more precise schedules and stating that ships should go laden but also return laden. Investors funded the establishment of the first scheduled line between Northern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The company's fleet was progressively increased: Bodrum and Marmaris 1 were delivered in 1961, to transport machinery and materials required by the emerging Turkish heavy industry. Dalaman and Köyceğiz, equipped with heavy cranes (120 ton lifting power) were delivered in 1970 to operate on the US-Mediterranean line. The two ships were also involved in the Cyprus campaign in 1976. Milas 1, Gökova and Ula were delivered in early 1980s, increasing the fleet's size to nine units.
After the death of Selahattin Göktuğ in 1984, Sıtkı Koçman became the sole manager of the company, which was eventually closed in November 2001. Koçman died on 15 October 2005, aged 93.
[ Vapur Donatanları ve Acenteleri Derneği]
Ivan Sache, 15 December 2019
The house flag of Koçtuğ is swallow-tailed, horizontally divided blue-yellow-blue (1:3:1) with a blue trident flanked by the blue letters K and G in the yellow stripe.
[Brown's Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World (1995) [lgr95]]
Jarig Bakker, 13 February 2006