Haydarpaşa Terminal

The Haydarpaşa Terminal or Haydarpaşa Station (Turkish: Haydarpaşa Garı) is a major intercity rail station and transportation hub in İstanbul. It is the busiest rail terminal in Turkey and the Middle East and one of the busiest in Eastern Europe. The terminal also has connections to İETT bus and ferry service. The Moda Tramway is a few blocks south of the station. The station has a main building (opened in 1909) that houses the headquarters of District 1.

Haydarpaşa Terminal is the western terminus of the Istanbul-Ankara Main Line and was the western terminus of the former Baghdad Railway (İstanbul-Konya-Adana-Aleppo-Baghdad) and the Hejaz Railway (İstanbul-Konya-Adana-Aleppo-Damascus-Amman-Medina). The tracks do not cross the Bosphorus, but there is a train ferry, that carries rail cars from Haydarpaşa, on the Asian side, to Sirkeci, on the European side.

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 two 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 stonemasons 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.

Turkish Era (1923-Present)

The Turkish Independence War ended October 29, 1923. The Republic of Turkey was formed and the British Empire retreated from İstanbul. Haydarpaşa station was still under CFOA control but in 1927, the newly formed Turkish State Railways took over the CFOA and the station, in an attempt to nationalize all Turkish railways. In 1927 the CIWL started a premier train service from Haydarpaşa to Ankara: the Anatolian Express. This all-sleeper train traveled daily between the two cities. In 1938 the Eastern Express entered service from Haydarpaşa to the eastern Turkish city of Kars, a distance of 1,994 km (1,239 mi). With the completion of the Baghdad Railway to Baghdad, the famous Taurus Express entered service in 1940 from Haydarpaşa to Baghdad, a distance of 2,566 km (1,594 mi). In 1965 the Trans-Asia Express entered service from Haydarpaşa to Tehran, a distance of 3,059 km (1,901 mi). In 1969, the tracks from Haydarpaşa to Gebze were electrified with 25 kV AC catenary for the Haydarpaşa-Gebze Commuter Line. In 1979 a tanker burning on the Bosphorus damaged the station building, but was restored a few months later. On November 28, 2010 a fire caused by carelessness during restoration process, destroyed the roof and the 4th floor of the station building.


There are tombs and monuments in the Haydarpaşa Cemetery near the military hospital, dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers, who lost their lives during the Crimean War (1854–1856) and during the two World Wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945, respectively.)

The northwest wing of the 19th century Selimiye Barracks, which was transformed into a military hospital during the Crimean War, was the place where nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale cared wounded and infected British soldiers. Her room is today a museum, and her belongings are exhibited to honor her memory. The museum also contains other items which date from the Crimean War.

The buildings of the Haydarpaşa Numune Hospital, GATA Military Hospital, Dr. Siyami Ersek Hospital and the present-day Haydarpaşa Campus of the Marmara University (the former Haydarpaşa High School, which was originally built as the Mekteb-i Tıbbiye-i Şahane (Imperial Medical School) and designed by architects Alexander Vallaury and Raimondo D'Aronco) are located close to the station.

The Port of Haydarpaşa at the north is one of the main container terminals of Turkey.

Public transport links

  • Suburban train Haydarpaşa-Gebze
  • Ferryboat Kadıköy-Haydarpaşa-Karaköy
  • Sea bus Haydarpaşa-Kabataş
  • Train-ferryboat Haydarpaşa Terminal-Sirkeci Terminal

In film

The station was a scene used in the 2009 Chanel No. 5 short film commercial, starring Audrey Tautou and model Travis Davenport.

In music

Famous rock band Garbage's video clip for 'Run Baby Run' was also partly shot in Haydarpasa Train Station.

Building Activity

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