Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Ottoman Era (1872-1922)
İstanbul was a very important city. At the time, it was the capital of the Ottoman Empire as well as the largest city in the empire. İstanbul was a major economic and cultural hub. İstanbul had no rail link, so in 1871 Sultan Abdülaziz ordered a rail line to be built from Haydarpaşa to İzmit. Haydarpaşa station opened in 1872, when the railway reached Gebze. In 1888 the Anatolian Railway (CFOA) took over the line and the station. Since the station was built next to the Bosphorus, freight trains would unload at Haydarpaşa and the freight would be transferred to ships. Haydarpaşa station saw its first regular passenger service in 1890: a daily train from Haydarpaşa to İzmit. In 1892 the CFOA built a line to Ankara and shortly after a daily train ran between the two cities. Haydarpaşa was chosen to be the northern terminus of the Baghdad Railway and the Hedjaz Railway in 1904 and with rail traffic increasing, a new and larger station was required. The Anatolian Railway hired tow German architects; Otto Ritter and Helmut Conu to build the new building. They chose a neo-classical structure and construction started in 1906. Its foundation is based on 1100 wooden piles, each 21 meters long, driven into the mushy shore by a steam hammer. German and Italian stone masons crafted the facade embellishments of the terminal. The German engineers and craftsmen who worked at the construction site of the building established a small German neighbourhood in the Yeldeğirmeni quarter of Kadıköy. The new pseudo-castle station was completed in on August 19, 1909. The new station was inaugurated on November 4, 1909 for the anniversary of Mehmed V. The new station was built on land reclaimed from the sea. World War I broke out in 1914 and the Ottoman Empire sided with the Central Powers against the Allied Powers. The Ottomans lost and İstanbul was taken over by the British Empire. With the outbreak of the Turkish Independence War in 1919, British troops would board trains at Haydarpaşa to the frontier.