MELBOURNE - World War I Australian submarine Aero 02 (AE2) which was damaged by a Turkish torpedo boat and was scuttled by her crew in Istanbul Strait in 1915 will be recovered before 2015 under a project sponsored by the Australian government.

The Australian government has allocated a fund of 388,500 Australian dollars for the AE2 project.

AE2 project's Turkish advisor Vecihi Basaran in a written statement indicated today that the submarine, which lays 72 meters beneath the surface, was discovered in June 1998 by Selcuk Kolay, then curator of Rahmi Koc Museum in Istanbul.

"On April 25th, 1915, AE2 became the first Allied submarine to pass through the Canakkale Strait to attack Turkish shipping in the Sea of Marmara. Unable to find any large troop transport to attack, she was damaged on April 29th in an attack by the Turkish torpedo boat 'SultanHisar' in Artaki Bay and was scuttled by its crew. 'SultanHisar' rescued the crew of AE2 and they were held as POWs till the end of the World War I," he said.

According to Basaran, the submarine belonged to Turkey according to international laws.

Basaran added that the team will start efforts to recover AE2 from her grave in Istanbul Strait in 2007 and they aim to finish the job by 2015.

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