The first seafarers’ centre in Aliaga in Turkey’s port city of Izmir, opens today, Monday 21st January 2013. The Pollen Seafarers Center is an initiative of ex-seafarer Captain Onur Hurmuzlu. The Pollen Seafarers Center is modelled on Captain Hurmuzlu’s experience of ICMA members’ centres.
However, there is little understanding in the region of seafarers’ centres like ours. Hurmuzlu says:
“Seafarers centers closest to us are seafarers’ centers located in Russia . These places are not like ICMA seafarers’ centres. Some of the agents cannot understand my intentions, because they don’t know what is the meaning of seafarers centers.”
He says seafarers’ centres are wrongly associated locally with profit-making clubs and prostitution. But, in spite of limited local understanding for ICMA’s concept of centres that care for the welfare of seafarers, Captain Onur Humuzlu says he has been able to strike up good relations with the port and ships’ agents.
The Pollen Seafarers’ Center will offer the following services to seafarers:
- free shuttle service
- boat service for anchored vessels ( boat fee from captain but I arrange reasonable price with boat companies )
- free wifi
- free notebooks for using web surf
- 6 cordless phones ( I preferred phone booth than cordless phone ,)
- cheap international calling cards (for 4 usd cards 15 mins Philipinnes , 65 Minutes China , 75 Minutes India ……) I have no profit with these cards.
- bar-pub (alcoholic beverages, soft drinks , coffee , cocktails)
- restaurant (sis kebab, steaks, fish & chips)
- mini market ( snacks , chocolates, candies, toothpaste, shampoo, etc )
- gift shop (magnets, figurines, Turkish delight , Turkish baklava , etc )
- sending postcards
- after 2 months I will bring bank ATM device for receiving cash, sending money, etc.
- Ephesus Tours with bus and guide.
Captain Hurmuzlu aknowledges that association with ICMA could add credibility to the Pollen Seafarers Center, and has asked that his centre be added to ICMA’s directory.
“If it’s possible I will appreciate and glad,” he says. “I think I am only one in the world, because I have no support from any organization behind me but I will work like ICMA seaferers center.”
The Pollen Seafarers Center at Aliaga is not the only such centre: our online directory contains a few seafarers’ centres that are not part of the ICMA network but have in the past worked closely with ICMA’s personnel.