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Lighthouses    EN


Lighthouses are constructions which are intended to help the vessels in the sea which are close to the land and they are constructed in shallow places close to the shore or on hills that oversee the shore and they are equipped with lighting devices and they are mostly in the shape of towers [1]. The reason why they are built in high places is to enable them to be seen easily from far distances. Their importance is twofold: first to warn vessels for the dangerous waters and second, to help vessels navigate during the night.

Lighthouses are painted in distinct colors to enable them to be seen from far away. Lights are used to help them to be seen at night. Each lighthouse has its own identity based on flashings lights or light going on and off. Lights are made more intense and directed through various lens systems. Lighthouses vary in terms of color, period of light on and type of lightning to help sailors distinguish them. In addition, since sailors know the latitude and longitudes of lighthouses as well as their flashing lights, they can navigate according to these [2].

The first lighthouse of the Ottoman State is the Fenerbahçe Lighthouse which was built in 1562 by Kanuni Sultan Süleyman. In 1855, with the recommendation of a French named Marius Michel, a contract of concession was signed on the construction and management of lighthouses between the Ottoman State and France; the privilege of the construction of lighthouses was given to Monsieur Michel for a period of 10 years (1855-1865). Thus, the first modern lighthouses were constructed [3]. At first, the responsibility of lighthouses was given to the soldiers of Bostancı Corp and the oil used for lighting was taken from Topkapı Palace. During the period of Abdülhamid the first, the management of lighthouses was changed to monopoly system and the authority for managing the lighthouses began to descend from father to son. In 1860, the management of lighthouses was given to the French after Administration of Public Fenerler (Fenerler İdare-i Umumiye) was built [4].

The second contract was signed in 1860, before the first one expired. With this contract, Monsieur Culas was assigned as the partner of Monsieur Michel. The management of Fener Administration (Fener İdaresi) was given to a committee that included Ottoman and European members for 20 years. Thus, Fener Administration (Fener İdaresi) was under the supervision of Naval Ministry (Bahriye Nezareti) for another 19 years and another contract was signed in 1879 before the time expired. With this contract, the time of the 1860 contract was extended for another 15 years [5].

Land proprietors also worked in the maintenance of lighthouses. This responsibility directed them to maritime activities and they became responsible for works such as the evacuation of a sinking ships, saving and repairing ships [6].

All the lighthouses in the Ottoman State were gathered in twelve districts. Sinop lighthouse was among the Black sea Anatolian line lighthouses with Ereğli, İnebolu, Samsun, Giresun, Trabzon and Batum lighthouses. Among all lighthouses, Sinop lighthouse was the one that had the highest level of light when the level of sea was considered. Sinop lighthouse, which is in the northernmost of the Black Sea is located in İnceburun about 20 kms away from the city center.

Sinop lighhouse has the following features:

Date of Establishment:           1863

Height of Tower:                     12 m

The altitude:                            26 m

Location:                                 42° 06’ 36” N

                                                34° 58’ 48” E

Character:                                WGp F1 (4) 20 s

Range of Appear:                    9 miles

System of Flashlight:              Devvar [7].

It is white in color and it has flashing lights. It flashes regularly and its period of light is very short. In the Ottoman State, olive oil used in oil-lamps with big fuses was used in the lighting of lighthouses after 1839. Later on, coleman lanterns with fuses were used. Following these, flashers working with acetylene gas and bright light socketed lamps working with LPG were used [8].


[1] Veli Akçaoğlu, Sunay Akçaoğlu, “Deniz Fenerleri”, IV. Kıyı Mühendisliği Ulusal Sempozyumu, (Antalya: 2002), s. 573.

[2] M. Vefa Toroslu, “Denizciye Göz Kıran Sevdalar” Deniz Fenerleri, (İzmir: Şubat 2008), s. 16.

[3] Ibid, M. Vefa Toroslu, s. 41

[4] Ibid, Veli Akçaoğlu, Sunay Akçaoğlu, ss. 544-585.

[5] Ibid, M. Vefa Toroslu, s. 42.

[6] İlhan Ekinci, “Karadeniz’de Âyanlar ve Denizcilik”, Karadeniz Araştırmaları, Bahar 2013, Sayı: 37, ss. 15-49.

[7] Ibid, M. Vefa Toroslu, s. 62.

[8] Ibid, M. Vefa Toroslu, s. 44.