Specialized legal services in all aspects of yachting in Turkey

Yachts and superyachts have long been considered amongst the ultimate luxury assets. While many are used for commercial or sporting ventures, others are intended purely for leisure. Whatever the purpose, Bicak’s specialist lawyers provide legal advice on all aspects of yacht and superyacht ownership – from concept through a vessel’s full lifecycle. We don’t over-complicate what is already viewed as a complex area; we simply offer straightforward advice and offer practical suggestions on all aspects of buying, selling and owning a boat which will (1) give you peace of mind, (2) save you money (3) protect you, your boat and your boat business (4) minimise risks commonly associate with buying, owning and operating boats. Our aim is to promote business activity within the yachting industry whilst ensuring our clients are legally and commercially protected. We aim to make sure our client’s position has significantly improved as a result of our involvement. Your journey in yachting can be safer, more profitable and pleasant.

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Legal matters in all aspects of yachting in Turkey

Yachting in Turkey has experienced significant growth in recent years, making it an attractive destination for yacht owners, operators, and enthusiasts. However, the complexities of the legal framework governing the yachting industry can pose challenges. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the importance of specialized legal services in all aspects of yachting in Turkey, providing a detailed overview of the key areas where legal expertise is crucial.

Premier yachting destination

Turkey, with its breathtaking coastline and rich cultural heritage, has emerged as a premier yachting destination. Nestled between the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, the country offers an idyllic setting for yachting enthusiasts to embark on unforgettable voyages along the Turquoise Coast. From ancient ruins to secluded coves, Turkey presents an enchanting fusion of natural beauty and historical wonders that make it a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique yachting experience.

The Turquoise Coast: A Paradise for Yachting

Stretching from the Aegean region in the west to the Mediterranean in the south, the Turquoise Coast, also known as the Turkish Riviera, captivates visitors with its crystal-clear waters, picturesque bays, and rugged cliffs. This stunning coastline is a sailor’s dream, providing a diverse range of landscapes and anchorages to explore.

Ancient Ruins and Historical Marvels

One of the remarkable aspects of yachting in Turkey is the opportunity to combine adventure with history. Along the coast, you’ll encounter numerous ancient ruins and archaeological sites, including the magnificent city of Ephesus, the Lycian Rock Tombs, and the ruins of Kaunos. These ancient treasures offer a fascinating glimpse into Turkey’s rich past and make for unforgettable stops during your yachting journey.

Exploring Charming Coastal Towns

Sailing along the Turkish coast allows you to discover charming coastal towns that have retained their authentic character. From the bustling harbor town of Bodrum to the picturesque village of Kas, each destination offers a unique blend of culture, cuisine, and traditional Turkish hospitality. Stroll through narrow streets, sample delicious local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of these coastal gems.

Hidden Coves and Pristine Beaches

One of the true joys of yachting in Turkey is the opportunity to discover hidden coves and secluded beaches accessible only by boat. Drop anchor in idyllic spots such as Butterfly Valley, Cleopatra’s Bay, and the Gulf of Gocek, where you can unwind in the serenity of turquoise waters and unspoiled natural beauty. Snorkeling, swimming, and simply basking in the sun on pristine beaches are experiences that make yachting in Turkey truly exceptional.

Modern Marinas and Facilities

Turkey has seen significant investment in its yachting infrastructure in recent years, boasting modern marinas equipped with top-notch facilities and services. Marinas such as Marmaris, Gocek, and Bodrum offer safe berthing options, technical assistance, and a range of amenities for yachts of all sizes. Experienced staff are on hand to ensure a seamless yachting experience, making Turkey an inviting destination for both novice and seasoned sailors.

Culinary Delights and Turkish Hospitality

No yachting journey in Turkey is complete without savoring the country’s culinary delights. Turkish cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors, fresh ingredients, and cultural diversity. Indulge in a meze feast, sample succulent kebabs, and sip traditional Turkish tea while relishing the warm hospitality of the locals. From charming seaside taverns to fine dining establishments, the gastronomic offerings along the Turquoise Coast will tantalize your taste buds.

Yachting in Turkey offers a unique blend of natural beauty, historical intrigue, and warm hospitality that few destinations can match. The Turquoise Coast, with its stunning landscapes, ancient ruins, and hidden coves, beckons adventurers and yachting enthusiasts alike. Embark on a memorable journey along the Turkish Riviera, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, and create lasting memories against the backdrop of breathtaking seascapes. Turkey is an enchanting yachting destination that promises a truly unforgettable experience.

Legal Services

Bicak has a unique expertise on yachting matters, and is a trusted adviser to some leading industry association. We provide legal services to yacht owners, charterers, managers, lenders, insurers, brokers, designers or builders – whatever the size or type of craft – from sailing craft to the biggest superyachts.

Our yacht lawyers advise on new building projects, sale and purchase of second-hand yachts, financing, registration, tax and customs matters, statutory compliance, commercial management and operation, insurance, sponsorship, crewing and chartering.

Our yachting team has a strong expertise on tax, customs and excise matters relating to yachting, and is well-recognised by industry professionals and foreign lawyers. We regularly assist owners or managers on Turkey import matters, VAT treatment of yacht construction and sale and purchase, and structuration of yacht ownership.

Registration and Documentation

The registration and documentation process is the initial step for yacht owners in Turkey. Specialized legal services can guide owners through the complex process of registering their vessels with the Turkish authorities. This includes assisting with flag registration, ownership structuring, and drafting essential agreements such as sales and purchase contracts or charter agreements. Legal professionals can ensure compliance with national and international maritime regulations, allowing yacht owners to navigate the paperwork with ease and confidence.

Avoid Fraud

When buying a boat you must check that the seller owns the boat and therefore has the right to sell it. Also make sure the boat is not encumbered with a marine mortgage or outstanding marina fees for example. When investigating title, Turkey Ship Register is a good starting point, but what if vessel is not registered? How do you investigate title and obtain satisfactory proof of ownership? We can help.

Compliance with Regulations

Complying with the extensive regulations governing yachting in Turkey is of utmost importance to ensure safe and lawful operations. Specialized legal services provide invaluable support in understanding and meeting the requirements set forth by Turkish authorities. This includes ensuring adherence to safety standards, crewing regulations, and environmental laws. Legal professionals can assist in obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, such as coastal cruising permits or Blue Cards for crew members. They can also help yacht owners stay up-to-date with international conventions, such as SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and MARPOL (Marine Pollution), ensuring compliance with global standards.

Tax and Customs

Understanding the tax and customs implications associated with yacht ownership and operation is crucial to avoid potential pitfalls. Specialized legal services offer expertise in navigating the intricate landscape of tax and customs regulations in Turkey. They can provide guidance on tax planning strategies, including VAT implications, importation taxes, and duties. Legal professionals can also assist in customs clearance processes, ensuring seamless entry and exit of yachts from Turkish ports while minimizing tax burdens.

Insurance and Liability

Protecting one’s yacht and assets is paramount in the yachting industry. Specialized legal services can assist yacht owners in assessing their insurance needs and selecting appropriate coverage. This includes comprehensive coverage such as hull insurance, P&I (Protection and Indemnity) insurance, and crew liability insurance. Legal professionals can help owners understand the scope of coverage, negotiate insurance contracts, and handle insurance claims effectively. Additionally, they can provide guidance on liability issues, such as accidents, injuries, and collisions, helping clients navigate potential legal disputes and minimize financial exposure.

Dispute Resolution

In the unfortunate event of a dispute or litigation arising from yachting activities, having access to specialized legal services is crucial. Legal professionals with expertise in maritime law can provide effective representation in dispute resolution processes. They are skilled in negotiation, mediation, and arbitration, aiming to achieve amicable resolutions whenever possible. In cases where litigation becomes necessary, specialized legal professionals can offer strong representation in Turkish courts, safeguarding the interests of their clients and ensuring a fair and just outcome.

Specialized legal services play a vital role in all aspects of yachting in Turkey, offering invaluable support to yacht owners, operators, and maritime industry professionals. From the initial registration and compliance with regulations to tax planning, insurance, and dispute resolution, these services ensure that clients can navigate the legal complexities of the yachting sector with confidence. By seeking the assistance of specialized legal professionals, individuals and businesses can protect their interests, ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and enjoy a smooth and worry-free yachting experience in the beautiful waters of Turkey.


You will know from the beginning what is the level of difficulty and the risks of buying a certain boat, so that you can judge whether it is worth getting involved or not.

Due diligence

We check thoroughly the legal status of each yacht so that you are fully protected from any encumbrances, liabilities or other unpleasant surprises that may arise in the future.

Day-to-day handling

We cover you in all legal issues which may emerge in the future (crew, berthing, insurance disputes, etc). No stress; no worries.

How Can We Help?

Bicak Law takes care of all the legal and business aspects of boat ownership and operation. We protect you, your boat and your business, helping to minimise the risks associated with boat ownership, which saves you time and money in the long run. Contact us for help and advice on the following matters:

  • Boat Sale / Purchase Transactions
  • Turkey Boat Registrations & Offshore Flagging
  • Boat Finance Help and Advice
  • Pleasure Craft Insurance Advice
  • Boat Ownership Structuring – Turkey & Offshore
  • Company Formations and Business Start-up Advice
  • Turkey Boat VAT Guidance
  • Temporary Importation Advice
  • Yacht Chartering
  • Multiple Ownership and Boat Syndicate Formations
  • Boat Fractional Ownership
  • Business Facilitator
  • Review and Preparation of Commercial Contracts for Businesses
  • Refit Yacht

We advise on new build contracts, including fully custom yachts and any related project management and design contracts, as well as the protection of intellectual property rights. Alongside regular involvement in sale and purchase transactions, our corporate and wealth lawyers can assist with ownership structures, registration and choice of flag. Where finance is required, we provide support on the associated finance arrangements, and importantly security.

Clients frequently seek our legal advice on operational matters including management and crew contracts, and consult our dedicated employment team. Our yacht and superyacht lawyers work closely with the firm’s commercial and ship finance teams to assist with the broad range of matters that derive from owning, managing or insuring yachts, whether operated commercially (including charter) or privately.

If a casualty does occur, we have considerable experience in responding to the incident and handling disputes arising from it. Our lawyers are ready to act immediately following a serious casualty and to advise on any criminal investigation or maritime investigation. We engage with independent technical experts and, where necessary, appoint local lawyers to assist with the preservation and collation of evidence. We have handled high profile yachting incidents, calling also on the expertise of our well-respected reputation management team.

A broad range of contractual disputes may arise from build contracts, finance arrangements or the general operation of a yacht. Our proven track record in this area encompasses product liability and warranty claims, professional negligence, yard liabilities and chartering disputes. In addition to significant Court proceedings, our litigation practice covers all forms of alternative dispute resolution including international mediation, international arbitration and dispute resolution.  

We have global reach with offices in renowned yachting hubs including Göcek, Marmaris, Bodrum, Kuşadası, Istanbul, Antalya. Our yacht and superyacht lawyers can readily assist on complex multi-jurisdictional issues which frequently arise in yacht ownership.

Please note that while this article provides a comprehensive overview, it is not intended as legal advice. For specific legal issues related to yachting in Turkey, it is advisable to consult with a one of our qualified legal professional with expertise in maritime law.

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