From the magnificent railway station Haydarpaşa (Haydarpasha), located at the Bosphorus on the asian side of Istanbul, every day a few cheap trains starts to Anatolia.
The railway station was built by the german company Philip Holzmann and completed in 1908. One hundred years ago the Ottomans wanted to build a rapid rail transport connection across Anatolia from Istanbul to Konya, over Adana, Aleppo to Baghdad.
As an ally of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II. the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. had undertaken companies like Philip Holzmann, Krupp and the German Bank as a financier for the project. The construction of the railway claimed the lives of many workers, especially in the rugged mountainous regions of Anatolia.
Between 1900 and 1908 another line was built with German participation in the Ottoman Empire, known as the Hijaz Railway from Damascus to Medina, bringing Muslim pilgrims to the holy places of Islam, but also allowed a rapid relocation of Ottoman troops to Arab provinces. The Hejaz Railway became famous when rebelled Arab tribes under the guidance of British secret agent Thomas Edward Lawrence, known as “Lawrence of Arabia”, perpetrated attacks and sabotage on the train lines.
© Photo by Jens Helmstedt