The fourteen million people of Istanbul do not all live or work in the city center. With parts located on both the continent of Europe and Asia, the total coverage area of the city is around 5,461 square kilometres, with thirty-nine districts. There are people who commute everyday between the far east and west sides of Istanbul and 81% of public transportation is provided by highways while only 14% and 5% provided by railway and seaway, respectively. Due to these numbers, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has been looking for ways to improve transportation infrastructure. Among these efforts is the Marmaray Project, a project which includes the incorporation of the existing Istanbul-Gebze Train Line.
Haydarpasa Train Station
Haydarpasa Train Station is the last stop on the line of suburban trains that commute between Gebze and Kadikoy, and the intercity trains that travel to all of Anatolia. Surrounded by other historical buildings and sites such as military hospitals (Haydarpasa Numune Hospital, GATA Military Hospital and Dr. Siyami Ersek Hospital), the present-day Haydarpasa Campus of Marmara University, and the Haydarpasa Cemetery that is dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives during the Crimean War and during the World Wars (1914 to 1918 and 1939 to 1945), the station was designated as a “Sit (Preservation) Area” by the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage in 2006.
The German architects of the terminus, Otto Ritter and Helmut Conu, constructed the building with a neo-classical style. Besides its architectural features that have been carried throughout the years, the station has always had a significant place in the social life of Istanbul - and on an even larger scale, Turkey itself. Old Turkish movies demonstrate the astonishments of visitors/immigrants who came to the big city of Istanbul for the first time in their lives from rural-east parts of Turkey via the terminal. For those newcomers, Haydarpasa was the first stop in seeing the big city.
Marmaray Project and Haydarpasa Train Station
The relationship between the Marmaray Project and Haydarpasa Train Station lies over the existing Istanbul-Gebze suburban train line, which is currently under repair. For the maintenance and repair of the line, the station has been closed and is currently not in use. However, some ferries still use Haydarpasa port as a station. As seen on the map “Marmaray Project and Haydarpasa Train Station,” there is no sign of a station in Haydarpasa. Does this mean that Haydarpasa Port will not be in use in the near future?
How does it feel to see a such a longstanding structure or place with many memories, but by preserving these memories has let its functionality gone unexploited? What will be the future of the station? Do you have similar situations in your city, and if so, what were the solutions?
Credits: Images by Ozlem Atalay. Data linked to sources.