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Nusret

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Nusret (Eng. 'the help of God') was a naval ship of the Ottoman Navy, which served as a minelayer during the Gallipoli Campaign, and later fulfilled various roles in the Turkish Navy; as minelayer (1927–1937), diver vessel (1937–1939) and tender (1939–1955). She was laid down in 1911 and launched from Schiff & Maschinenbau AG 'Germania' at Kiel, Germany on 4 December of that year.

Nusret was commissioned into the Ottoman Navy in 1913, captained by Lieutenant Tophaneli Hakki (Güverte Kıdemli Yüzbaşı Tophaneli İbrahim oğlu Hakkı) under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Geehl. Nusret played a pivotal role in the Dardanelles Campaign, laying 26 mines in an unexpected position in February 1915 just prior to the ill-fated invasion which sank HMS Irresistible, HMS Ocean and the French battleship Bouvet, and left the British battle cruiser HMS Inflexible badly damaged.

After World War I Nusret was laid up in Istanbul until 1926/7 when she was refitted at Gölcük. In 1937 she became the diving vessel Yardin and in 1939 reverted to Nusret as a tender. In 1955 she was decommissioned and again laid up, with the intention to convert her to a museum ship. However, in 1962 she was sold to commercial buyers who had her converted to a cargo motorship, unrecognisable as the former minelayer, entering service as Kaptan Nusret in 1966. In April 1989 she sank near Mersin Harbour, and lay submerged for 10 years.

In 1999 she was rescued by a group of volunteers in Mersin. But her fate was to be sold to be used as a raw material in industry. Tarsus municipality decided to keep the minelayer as a commemorative of the naval victory. On 4 October 2002, she was carried to Tarsus from Mersin. Although the distance between Mersin and Tarsus is only 27 kilometres (17 mi), it took 4.5 hours to carry it. Tarsus mayor (currently Mersin metropolitan municipality mayor) Burhanettin Kocamaz said; "Now hero Nusrat, you can sleep properly in your place Çanakkale Park, this is your place. Your destiny is changed. Tarsus and people in Tarsus owned you" during the naval victory celebrations held on 18 March 2003, on the 88th anniversary of the naval victory. He added that Tarsus municipality was awarded a certificate of appreciation from Turkish Naval Forces.

During her usage as a cargo ship she had been modified. Thus a group of experts were sent to Çanakkale (theatre of the naval battle) to learn the details of the original vessel. Accordingly, the ship was repaired. She was opened to visits on 27 December 2003, during the anniversary of liberation of Tarsus from French occupation following the First World War.

The museum is an 6,000 square metres (65,000 sq ft) - open air museum in Tarsus ilçe (district) of Mersin Province at 36°45′26″N 34°53′05″E. The minelayer is situated in a park laying at the north side of the Turkish state highway D-400 to Mersin. The auxiliary building is situated to the east of the ship.

A replica Nusret has been built by the Gölcük Naval Shipyard to be displayed in Çanakkale by the shore of the Narrows of the Dardanelles along with the types of mines that it laid in World War I. In March 2011 this Nusret was commissioned into the Turkish Navy as the museum ship N-16.

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Museum info:
Address: Öğretmenler Mahallesi, Şht. İsmet Akın Cd. No:44, 33440 Tarsus/Mersin, Turkey
Phone: +90 324 613 36 88
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