Haydarpaşa Port ready for tender

Haydarpaşa Port ready for tender

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Haydarpaşa Port ready for tender

The Haydarpaşa Train Station, built in the beginning of the last centure, is one of the symbols of Istanbul. the government wants to initiate a large transformation project to establish a main tourism port in the area, which is on edge of the city’s Asian side. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

The Istanbul Municipal Assembly has approved reconstruction plan for protection of the Haydarpaşa Train Station and Port, paving the way to change the entire appearance of a historical location marked for about a century by one of the architectural symbols of Istanbul’s Asian side.

A tender for the Haydarpaşa Port project may open as soon as the planning phase of the project is completed, with the municipal assembly’s vote.

The municipal assembly met Sept. 14, with members representing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP), according to a report from Anatolia news agency.
The project was approved with affirmative votes from the AKP members, while the CHP members voted against it.

“The Haydarpaşa Train Station may lose its public function [with this project]. We want to defend the protection of the train station feature of the Haydarpaşa building and leave it as it is for future generations, because it is part of our cultural heritage,” Akif Burak Atlar, assistant secretary-general of the Istanbul City Planners Chamber, told Hürriyet Daily News on the phone on Sept. 14.

New functions
Commercial and tourism functions would close the building and the surrounding area to public use, he said. Haydarpaşa is planned to become the city’s main tourism port, where giant cruise ships will dock.

Haydarpaşa Train Station, which was designed by German architects Otto Ritter and Helmuth Cuno, was inaugurated in 1908 and since then has become a major intercity rail station and transportation hub in Istanbul.

The Haydarpaşa Port project began with a protocol signed in 2007, and the planning process commenced in 2009. As of Sept. 14, there is no legal obstacle to starting work on the project, according to Anatolia news agency.

The government deems it to be one of the most important “prestigious projects” planned for Istanbul, along with the Galata Port project on the European side of Istanbul.

The Galata Port project was first announced in 2004, but the process ended when the Council of State adopted a motion to halt the project in 2006.

Both projects were approved this year by the Cultural and Natural Heritage Conservation Board, despite having stirred great public controversy. Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş had previously said that the two areas, which have cultural and historical value, would be opened to tourism.