Held in Antalya, Turkey, from May 2nd to May 5th, the event saw nearly 400 attendees, including maritime students and industry experts, aiming to facilitate knowledge exchange between new generations and seasoned professionals. The conference comprised 12 panels.

President of The Association of Maritime Students, Acelya Kara said in her opening speech: "Welcome to our congress, maritime students from all over Turkey. I am proud to be the second female president of Turkey's most active association, which has been operating for a quarter of a century, after 15 years. The Association of Seafaring Students will continue to bridge the gap between the industry and the students and be the voice of the students for 25 years. Dear guests, dear colleagues, I want you all to get the most out of this congress."

Oral Erdogan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Turk Loydu sent a video to the conference

On the first day of the 23rd National Mermaid Congress, opening speeches were delivered by Mr. Nuri Mert Can, Executive Member of Istanbul Technical University DEFAV; Mr. Atilay Ozay, Board Member of the Chamber of Marine Engineers; Mr. Bulent Hüseyinoglu, Chairman of the Chamber of Marine Engineers; and Cpt. Dilruba Soylemez.

Following these speeches, Mr. Burak Atasoy, IMEAK Chamber of Shipping Assembly and Education Commission Member; Mr. Cemalettin Sevli, General Manager of TRNC Turkish Maritime Enterprises; Mr. Cpt. Suat Hayri Aka, Former Undersecretary and Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey; and Oral Erdogan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Turk Loydu, addressed the audience.

SIRE 2.0 implementations in Turkey

Capt. Muhsin Demir, Cpt. Menduh Aydin and Ship Engineer Ferhat Abul have participated in the panel of the 2nd day regarding SIRE 2.0 in Antalya. Panelists stated that YMN Tanker Marine Management became a pioneer company in terms of SIRE implementations in Turkey. It was emphasized the importance of the human factor for SIRE 2.0, which defined as a series of questions, and gave information on the methods of conducting the audit.

Decarbonization

Aslı Yaldız Öztekin, Principal Research and Rule Development Engineer at Turk Loydu, delivered a presentation on "Zero Emission Sea: Decarbonization," emphasizing the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) target for 2050 from Turk Loydu's perspective.

Blue paths & Green future

GISBIR Environment Coordinator, Ozlem Soydan; Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Lines Shipyard Manager, Yagiz Yetkin Azizler; TURMEPA Antalya Branch Chairman; Antalya Setur Marina Manager; and Antalya Sailing Club President, Ziya Baykal, participated in the "Blue Roads, Green Future: Maritime and Environment Panel."

During the panel, information was provided about alternative fuels, including fuels produced in Turkey for the first time. Participants also discussed the efforts underway to transition tugboats away from fossil fuels.

Career and time management suggestions from Metin Duzgit 

During the next session, Metin Duzgit, the Owner of Duzgit Group, shared his insights on career and time management. He emphasized the importance of falling in love with certain aspects of life, such as fully embracing university life during one's academic years. Duzgit highlighted the priority sequence of family and work, followed by other responsibilities that can be deferred. He stressed the significance of planning life in a structured manner, focusing on studies during the student phase and working diligently to overcome inexperience in the early stages of one's career.

Duzgit reflected on personal experiences of working late nights and the valuable lessons learned in the quietude of the night. He underscored the importance of passion in both work and personal life, suggesting that at a certain point, one should also prioritize falling in love with someone. Duzgit concluded by emphasizing the essence of time management, which entails discerning when to prioritize different aspects of love and life.

Accompanying Metin Duzgit at the panel were Crew Manager, Serhat Acar, and Fleet Manager, Kursat Ozturk.

Cooperation in the maritime world: Brokering

The second day of the 23rd Mermaid Conference concluded with a panel titled "Cooperation in the Maritime World: Brokering." Managing Partners of Borochart, Burak Yildirim and Oktay Soner, were joined by S&P Broker from Alpina Shipping, İlknur Elbana, and Oil Team Leader from Cockett Marine, Burcu Meselik, to share insights from their respective fields.

At the end of the session, Oktay Soner, an experienced Tanker Broker and Managing Partner from Borachart, reflected on the evolving dynamics of international trade. He remarked, "As the East rises as a new global power and roles in the game change, Turkey will soon assume a more significant role with its bridge position between the East and West."

Shipbuilding supply chain

On the third day of the 23rd Mermaid Conference in Antalya, a panel titled "Shipbuilding Supply Chain" featured the participation of Managing Director of Keyparts Marine Equipment, M. Kürsat Peksen; Purchasing Manager of Bering Yachts, Numan Seker; and Spare Part Coordinator of BTMteknik, Muhterem Sahin.

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ULAQ

Unmanned Systems Project Manager of ARES Shipyard, Onur YILDIRIM, participated in the Military and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles Panel at the Mermaid Conference. During the panel, Yildirim delivered a presentation on the ULAQ project, which is an armed autonomous vessel named after a figure from Turkish history.

He highlighted that the vessel can be controlled remotely via satellite and has the capability to take autonomous actions.

Future journey in shipping

The "Future Journey in Shipping: Shipowner Perspective and Current Developments Shaping Maritime Transportation Panel" was conducted with participants including Cihan Ergenc, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Shipowners' Association; Huseyin Cinar, Secretary General of the Turkish Shipowners' Association; and Murat Er, Board Member of the Turkish Shipowners' Association.

During the panel, discussions revolved around new and challenging developments that impact owners' commercial management in the maritime industry.

Maritime accidents from law perspective

The "Legal Process and Judgment in Maritime Accidents Panel" at the Mermaid Conference was conducted by Sanem Benli from Integra Insurance Broker and Nuri Koray Kurum from Memisoglu Kurun Law Firm.

Being officer

In the final session, the "Journey and Teachings in Maritime: Being an Officer Panel" brought together Ahmet Diskot, 2nd Engineer from Akar Group; Sedef Esra Uluturk Dinc, the first and only female Captain at Turkish Maritime Lines; and Asli Simsek, Chief Engineer from DFDS. Panelists shared their valuable experiences and insights with the students.