Antalya's free zone has been one of the hearts of Turkish yacht building for over 20 years. Today it is home to a handful of superyacht builders working through Turkey's current economic and geopolitical woes to deliver quality that stands up to scrutiny from the most experienced customers and competitors alike.

On the first day of a week-long tour of the country, paid a visit to two contrasting, but equally impressive builders: Arkin Pruva and Sunrise Yachts.

Arkin Pruva

Arkin Pruva, which last year delivered Tempus Fugit - current poster child for AwlGrip's new flexible clear coat varnish - comprises two 50m bays, offices and workshops in the free zone.

According to managing director, Yavuz Bakankus and marketing director, Beril Oztunali, the yard has had excellent responses to the Tempus Class designs from Rob Humphreys, as well as to Tempus Fugit's cold moulded mahogany construction.

They also report that yacht work in the Free Zone, while not booming, is still better than it has been in the past.

"We're seeing more yacht work here in Antalya now than we did a few years ago," Öztunali said, "but now there are fewer builders working on bigger projects."

Arkin Pruva is one of the area's most accomplished cold moulded wood boat builders: the ring frames on Tempus Fugit are made of three pieces of 26-layer laminated mahogany and are works of art in themselves.  

The 27m yacht has been winning praise, as well as races, and the yard is currently working on designs for a 70', a 105' and a 150' Tempus Class, as well as more contemporary designs from Humphreys.

"The owner, Mr.Arkin is very pleased with this first boat. But now we need to build another; in the meantime, we are focused on bringing in refit work."

A new refit will come in next week and the yard is hopeful it will have news of a completion project and the Tempus Class 150' signed within the next few months.

Sunrise Yachts

Across the road from Arkin Pruva is Sunrise Yachts, currently the busiest Turkish superyacht builder by length and tonnage. CEO, Guillaume Roché admits it arrived at that position almost by accident.

"We have been fortunate to get ourselves into a good position, but we also deliver very high quality, with the lower labour costs available here in Turkey; ultimately we think we are mid-European in terms of our finish," he said.

With three Espen Øino styled yachts in build, including a 56m diesel-electric with azimuthing pod drives and a 63m launching in the spring with a striking interior design highlighted in copper tones, this is a youthful yard comfortable with new ideas.

Its latest signing, Project Skyfall, for serial owner John Staluppi, advances the yard's focus on engineering and technology, with the inclusion of MME microturbine generators.

Project Skyfall.

"I'm specifying micro turbines for all our new projects now; the technology makes the decision a no-brainer," Roché said.

The yard's latest delivery, Atomic, is sister ship to Africa and will be at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

"I think a lot of people were surprised when we won the contract to build John Staluppi's next boat, as if it was ridiculous to think he would ever build in Turkey," Roché said.

"But we continue to do things our way and deliver better yachts each time; for us, Turkey doesn't mean cheap. Along with the other good builders here, we are changing that perception."

Today will bring us to Alia Yachts and Sarp Yachts. See the full Turkey report in the next issue of The Superyacht Report.

Profile links

Arkin Pruva Yachts

Sunrise Yachts

If you like reading our Editors' premium quality journalism on, you'll love their amazing and insightful opinions and comments in The Superyacht Report. If you’ve never read it, click here to request a sample copy - it's 'A Report Worth Reading'. If you know how good it is, click here to subscribe - it's 'A Report Worth Paying For'.