The History of Haydarpaşa Station Building

The text below is from plaques installed on the facade of the Haydarpaşa Station Building and is intended to inform visitors of the building’s history. The language used on the plaques has driven me nuts for the last 15 years or so. I have written letters, and complained to various station personnel at various times regarding the broken English used on the plaques. No one seems to care, so I decided to let other people in on the fun. This is some of the best writing I have ever seen in my life!

[ Haydarpaşa Station Building ] Haydarpaşa station is the first station (gate) of Istanbul opening to Anatolia and Middle East. The construction of Haydarpaşa station had been begun during the Ottoman Empire, in the period of Sultan Abdulhamid II (1842-1918) on May 30, 1906, and been completed on August 19, 1908 then been put into service.

One of the general of Sultan Selim III name was Haydarpaşa had spent a big struggle during the construction of Selimiye military headquarters, for that reason, his name had been given to this district where this station located. Afterwards, this building had been denominated by this name.

The construction of building had been realized by one of the German Corporation denominated as Anatolia-Baghdad Corporation.

By the attempt of Mr. Huknen who was the general manager of this corporation, a breakwater had been constructed in front the station beside some establishments and silos which can be used for loading and unloading of the commodities existed in the cars (waggons) that will come from and go to Anatolia.

During the studies of architectural project of building, various studies had been carried out but, the project the two German architects Mr. Otto RITTER and Helmuth CONU had been implemented (realized). During the construction, some modifications and simplifications had been made on the project then that project had been applied (realized) with present situation.

During the construction of building some Italian skillful stonecutters had laboured (worked) together with German skillful workers.

At the beginning, the station on building had been established (constructed) on the area for 2525 sq. meters, then together with the present closed sections (divisions) had been expanded (spreaded) to area for 3836 sq meters.

The architectural style of building is Neo Classic German Architecture (style). This building had been constructed on the 1100 pieces (units) wooden piles insulated against water and the length of each one is 21 (twenty-one) meters. These piles had been driven in by steam-hammer. The bearing system is steel-Carcass and flooring system is beamed Voltaic (Volta-German) floor.

During the construction, 2500 cubic meters lefke-stone, 13,000 cubic meters concrete, 1140 ton iron 520 cubic meters timber, 19,000 meters hardwood and 6200 sq.meters slate roof veneering material had been used.

Within the First World War, the ammunition stored up at the station building and would be dispatched to Anatolia had exploded by means of a sabotage on September 6, 1917 then the big and terrible fire had occurred. Together with the station building lots waggons that full up with ammunition and soldiesr and also ready to dispatch (depart) and entering into the station had been burnt up and destroyed by the terrible fire. As a result of this sabotage, the roof of building had been burnt up and destroyed and the other sections (divisions) of building been damaged.

At the end of that event, by means of some repairs and modifications carried out by the authorities, station building and its roof had gained (reached) to the present aspect.

On November 15, 1979, at the result of a striking of a tanker name was INDEPENDENTA and the other ship (sea-accident) a little out of breakwater, the tanker had exploded and completely burnt up. Because of the terrible explosion and heat, so precious (valuable) lead glasses (stained glasses) realized by foreman name was O.LINEMAN had been damaged and after this event, the lead glasses (stained glasses) had been repaired as suitable to the original one immediately

Since putting into service, the station building couldn't has the large (gross) restoration up to date (now). As a result of the big struggle and attempt of the Turkish State Railways authorities for saving and protecting the masterpieces (ancient pieces), the large repairs of the station building had been commenced (begun) on 1976 then, at the end of 1985, four outer faces (outer parts) and two towers' restoration had been completed (finished)