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Message from President of Turkish MLA

Dear Friends,

Turkish MLA is proud to invite you to attend the CMI 2015 Istanbul Colloquium next June.

Istanbul, nowadays one of the most requested destinations, is a mega town where not only continents but at the same time different cultures, historical eras and religions meet.

Beyond doubt, it is also one of the most meaningful places on earth to hold a maritime law conference. Bosporus, one of the busiest waterways divides the town in two parts, one Asiatic and one European. The strait is accustomed to see passing every kind of vessels and sea crafts: Modern cruise ships, oil tankers, container ships, war ships, air craft carriers, submarines, big dry docks, oil drilling structures etc.

Istanbul with nearby port facilities, ship-­‐‑building and repair yards and marinas has everything that one can expect from a maritime centre. To demonstrate its closest ties with the “Thalassa” it possesses also two (spectacular) big bridges over the Bosporus (with a third one under construction) and a (unfortunately invisible) railway tunnel beneath the sea-­‐‑bed connecting Asia with Europe.

Maritime casualties happened also there. The most important ones involved tankers fully laden with crude oil coming into collision with another vessel. The resulting explosions (with flames reaching hundred meters height) unavoidably caused loss of life, property damage and pollution under the eyes of hundreds of thousands inhabitants. Today one of the major concerns consists of taking every measure appropriate to hamper a casualty involving an LPG carrier. Scientists underline that it would largely surpass Hiroshima.

The science of law was always one of the main field of research and work in our city. It suffices to remember that the Byzantine Emperor Justinian to whom we owe the famous (“Digesta seu Pandectae”) had the compendium of Roman Law prepared here. Simultaneously the construction of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), one of the most important religious and artistic constructions of all time, was going on with full speed (first half of the 6th century). The famous two big mosques of Istanbul namely, the Süleymaniye and the Blue Mosque, both masterpieces of the Ottoman architecture, were achieved only a millennium later (respectively 16th and 17th centuries).

The sunset between minarets and towers, wooden houses, cisterns, religious buildings, museums (not only the Topkapi Palace with its richest pieces of art and Dolmabahce Palace with its incomparable halls and furnitures, but also the Archaeological Museum with the unique collection of sarcophagi and the very interesting Maritime Museum), the bazaars and many other attractions will make your stay in İstanbul one of the most remarkable.

Law, culture and history will be joined in one short but highly meaningful and appreciated trip.

Hoping to see you soon in Istanbul.

Prof. Dr. Samim Ünan
President of the Turkish MLA
University of Galatasaray
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