When Ali Bekmezci entered shipping in 2008, maritime circles wondered whether his investment in the business was just a flash in the pan.

More than 10 years later, and after an expansion spurt that saw Bekmezci acquire a dozen bulkers and tankers since the end of 2020, there is little doubt left about his commitment to the industry.

“Everybody has realised we’re not in this business speculatively,” Bekmezci — one of Turkey’s fastest-expanding shipowners — told TradeWinds in an interview from his Istanbul office.