>A "Piece Of Spain That Sails"

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Yesterday, I was cordially invited like all other citizens of Istanbul to the temporary SpanishEmbassy in Istanbul.

It was one of the most interesting and enjoyablehalf an hour I have had. This is a benefit of being unemployed at the moment. I could never spare me time to visit the ship if I was working.

Of course Spain has a permanent representation in Istanbul where you can go by appointmentbut it is no match in advertising for Spain with the one I havevisited: the sailing training ship of the Spanish Navy: Juan Sebastián Elcano.

The four mast schooner Elcano is making a four day visit in Istanbul instead of their yearly trip to the United States and the ship is open for the public.

In the brochure given to us it says

Her role as floating embassy is reviewable as well. Her presence in foreign ports supports Spanish foreign policy and besides showing a beautiful image of our motherland, she also let those Spanish people living abroad to take one step in this “piece of Spain that sails”

She does these things very efficiently I must say. I have alwaysfound the lack of a sailing training ship in Turkish Navy a big andalmost fatal shortage.

Currently, two old ex German supply ships are used for the training cruises of the naval cadets. There are also about 10 sailing yachts at the Turkish Naval Academy. But these assets are not sufficient to teach the future naval officers the challenges of the seas and torepresent Turkey in foreign ports.

In December 2008, the Defence Industry Executive Committee gave approval for the start of training ship acquisition project. And on 29 January 2009,Undersecretariat for Defense Industries issued a Request forInformation (RfI) document about schooner type ships. But nothingsince then happened.

 Until we see our “piece of Turkey that sails” in foreign ports admiredby locals, we have to admire those who come to us.

One Response to >A "Piece Of Spain That Sails"

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