The Columbia Group has underlined its commitment to the burgeoning Turkish maritime cluster by opening an office in Istanbul. CSM Turkey will be headed up by Capt. Ozgur Gunes and overseen by Xanthos Kyriakou and Johann Meyer from the Italian and German offices respectively.
The new office will offer the full spectrum of the Columbia Group integrated maritime services with diverse support to all its stakeholders as well as full ‘second party’ technical and crew management services. CSM Turkey will offer essential vessel digitalisation and optimisation services through Columbia’s much heralded Performance Optimisation Control Room (POCR), in addition to training, catering and newbuilding consultancy. It will also act as a valuable springboard for the new entity’s expansion into the luxury aviation, super yacht, and cruise management sectors in Turkey.
Tanker pool management is also available through UPT, as well as mental health and crew wellbeing services through One Care, while Columbia Finance can provide stakeholders in the Turkish market with the necessary project equity.
CSM Turkey will explore a range of in-house joint venture opportunities with Turkish owners as well as offer top notch crew management services to the Turkish market, that will include the supply and management of Filipino, Indian, East European, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Chinese and of course Turkish seafarers.
The importance of the ‘second party’ shipmanagement model to the Turkish market was underlined by Mark O’Neil (pictured, centre left, with Capt. Gunes welcoming guests), President and CEO of the Columbia Group, who said CSM Turkey’s blueprint was all about “working with our stakeholders, our clients and our partners, side-by-side, supporting their ability to grow through the delivery of Columbia Group services”.
Addressing invited guests at the office’s opening, he said Turkey offered a range of exciting opportunities, ranging from shipbuilding, offshore management and construction, to the cruise sector, super yachts and private jets, all of which could benefit from the services offered by the Columbia Group.
“We want to talk to you about managing your ships, about building vessels, about building barges and offshore units in Turkey. We want to advise you on how to manage, operate and invest in private jets and the super yacht industry. If there is a market for cruise in Turkey, come and talk to us. We will invest in that market, and we will invest in those vessels,” he said.
“We are ready to invest in these areas because the Columbia Group is here for the long term. It is not what we can get out of Turkey that matters, but how we can invest in the country and grow our businesses together,” he said.
Mr O’Neil emphasised that Columbia is committed to contributing to the Turkish society and is talking with Turkish maritime universities about offering Columbia scholarships to Turkish cadets.