Ports, as a country’s strategic and vital logistics bases, are at the forefront of their duties in healing the wounds of the earthquake.
Port Operators Association of Türkiye (TÜRKLIM) Association of International Forwarding and Logistics Service Providers (UTIKAD), International Transporters’ Association (UND), Railway Transporter Association (DTD), RORO operators and ports have joined their forces in providing aid to earthquake survivors in Southeast Türkiye where two major earthquakes took place on February 6th, 2023.
From the first hours of the earthquake, TÜRKLIM has established a Crisis and Support Desk, which included all member port operators in the region from Taşucu to Iskenderun, Harbour Masters and Chambers of Shipping in the region. When the organizations to deliver aid to the region by sea started began, coordination of combined transportation was established with UTIKAD, UND, DTD and RORO operators that have regular RORO and ship lines to the region from ports in the Aegean and Marmara, as well as TÜRKLİM member RORO handling terminals. Preparations for a major logistics operation has also been completed as combining the support and facilities of the regional ports among themselves would have taken much. There is a in meaningful and effective cooperation and coordination with many logistics NGOs.
Ports in Gulf of İskenderun which have suitable RORO platforms, primarily LimakPort İskenderun where the fire has been largely brought to under control, are already in use. Turkish Naval Forces ships have also been using the ports since the first day of the earthquake. The ports will continue this mission without interruption with all their facilities and capabilities. Many more ships from other countries carrying humanitarian aid are expected to use the ports in the region which are fully prepared. In terms of the importance of maritime transportation and its uninterrupted sustainability, aid will continue to come to the region with more RORO and ship services starting from the coming days. RORO operators and TÜRKLİM member RORO ports are also working in tandem.
Gulf of Iskenderun had the highest number of port investments in Türkiye during the last 20 years in terms of port investments and infrastructure. These modern ports with high capacity and high speed equipment are built to serve large vessels. Ports such as LimakPort, Isdemir, Atakas Port, Tosyali, Yazici Port, Assan, Orhan Ekinci Pier, Gübretas, MMK, Torosport Ceyhan, Sanko, EMBA and even Sönmez Cement in Adana Yumurtalık Free Zone are ready for any kind of support with their existing piers.
Mersin International Port, Mesbaş Port and Ceyport Taşucu Port are also ready to provide support when needed. There are also many storage terminals in Gulf of Iskenderun, such as Global Terminals, Petrol Ofisi, OYAK Güzel Enerji as well as others that store LPG, fuel oil and petroleum products. There is an extremely large capacity in terms of storage terminals in Mersin.
There is no problem at ports in the region except for LimakPort where the fire is now under control. All other ports continue their normal activities.
Also on the initiative of the Karataş District Governorate in Adana and Disaster and Emergency Presidency (AFAD), large fishing boats have begun to transport food and water from the fishing port in Karatas to the Çevlik fishing port in Samandag, Hatay in order to increase the use of the sea route to expand humanitarian aid. Our fishermen have also mobilized all their means. The importance of the sea route for fast and uninterrupted aid to the districts and settlements of Hatay close to the Syrian border is evident. By this time, 6-7 ship trips have already been made. This aid is going to regions such as Antakya, Samandag and Yayladagi.
Our Coast Guard authorities welcome these ships and aids are then delivered to people through relevant organizations. As time progresses, fishing boats in the region will also be mobilized via the sea route through the fishing shelters in Adana (Karatas, Yumurtalik) and Hatay (Dörtyol).