Following that privatization, Port Akdeniz quickly began playing a major role in national and international maritime trade in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.
The city of Antalya has been experiencing rapid growth over the last few decades and is today one of the most important centers of manufacturing, trade, culture, and tourism in Turkey. The city’s harbor has always played a key role in the region’s development throughout history.
Because the Old Harbor, which was originally built in its present form by the Genoese and which is now used as a yacht marina, had become inadequate to serve the region’s needs in terms of both size and accessibility on the landward side, work began on the construction of a new port in 1968. Located 13 kms west of the city center, this new harbor was protected by breakwaters and equipped with modern facilities. The new Antalya harbor opened in 1973. For more than two decades it was managed by the Türkiye Denizcilik İşletmeleri company as a state-owned enterprise. As part of the privatization of Turkish port facilities in the last decade of the 20th century, the firm of Ortadoğu Antalya Liman İşletmeleri acquired the rights to the port’s operation under a 30-year lease on 8 September 1998.
On 30 October 2006 a joint venture consisting of Çelebi Holding, Global Investment Holding, and Antmarin Construction and Tourism submitted the winning bid to take over the remaining 22 years of the lease. Under new management, the port became the scene of accelerated investment in new equipment and facilities while a new corporate identity was created in which the port and its services were promoted under a new trademark: “Port Akdeniz”.