The magnificent Emperor’s Ballroom in the former Embassy of Imperial Germany (now the German Consulate-General) near Taksim Square in Istanbul, was the venue for the preview of the film “Diving the Wreck of SMS Breslau/Midilli”.
Consul-General Stefan Graf opened the evening in mid-March and welcomed the 300 invited guests and members of the press. Prior to the showing of the film, GA member Klaus Wolf explained the background of Turkish/German military cooperation in World War 1.
Klaus then handed over to fellow GA member, Savaş Karakaş, the producer of the film and well-known TV presenter in Turkey, who gave an account of the diving expedition before the showing. Along with her sister ship, SMS Goeben/Yavus, the light cruiser SMS Breslau/Midilli played a significant role in the political and military events surrounding the Gallipoli campaign. Whilst attacking the British fleet in Lemnos on 20 January 1918, the Breslau/Midilli ran into several mines. She sank with the loss of 334 German and 38 Turkish sailors. The wreck lay undiscovered until it was found 25 years ago. The dive expedition was a joint Turkish/German venture in 2018 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking. With the help of the TCG Alemdar (A 582), a submarine rescue ship of the Turkish Navy, a commemorative plaque was lowered into place on the deck of the sunken Breslau/Midilli.
After the film, there was a reception for the guests in an adjoining ante-room, where they could also talk to all those involved in the making of the film. (The film with English sub-titles will be available soon).
Report and Photos by GA Member Thomas Iredale.
Photo 1: Gun turret of the Breslau/Midilli, then and now