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We have sent a mail about destructive effects of the Marmaray Project

(yorumlar kapalı)

We give the copy of the mail below.



Dear Madam/Sir,

This letter aims to draw your attention upon the historic railways of Istanbul. Today it is necessary to take urgent actions in order to safeguard the historic railways of Istanbul (remnants of Rumelie and Anatolian Railways) located on both sides of the city, from the destructive effects of the Marmaray Project. This project is announced to be one of the most important transportation projects of our era, for it will connect Europe with Asia. However, it is a project in denial of the existing cultural and historic heritage of the railways.

Apart from the connecting under water tunnel, Marmaray is planned for three tracks in the place of existing two tracks. This designates the existing lines to be removed.

Furthermore 37 new surface stations will be built. Many of these will replace the historic stations. Therefore, 12 historic station centers on the Asian side and 4 stations on the European side will either loose their functions or be demolished. Moreover at these historic locations, not only stations will be damaged but many of the historic annexes, pedestrial subway crossings, retaining walls, monumental trees will also be destroyed. But most of all, with Marmaray’s encroachment into historic station areas, connection with the 19th century will be lost forever.

In Marmaray Project, means of access to rail transportation of both of the historic terminal areas (Sirkeci and Haydarpasa) are cut, in spite of the fact that they are registered as national cultural and historic sites. Similarly many of the above mentioned 16 historic stations are registered as well. These terminal areas, dominating the historic silhouette of Istanbul will go through urban regeneration and be used as commercial centers. The contract for the same is co-signed between Great Istanbul Municipality and Turkish State Railways (TCDD). The implicit-aim of this project is to open up 2 million square meter land to construction.

The application of ICOMOS- Turkey, Istanbul Chamber of Architects and Union of the Associated Transportation Employee (BTS) to the Turkish Ministry of Culture, Council of Monuments, for the registration of inner city railways Halkalı – Sirkeci and Haydarpaşa – Gebze as "Railway Heritage as part of the Industrial Heritage of Istanbul" is still under evaluation.

Marmaray Project will destroy railway heritage, urban memory and identity Istanbul, if it is constructed as it is announced. Therefore it is urgent to take action against Marmaray Project to change its innercity route to one other than the historic lines. 07.04.2008

Translated by:Dr Yonca Kösebay ERKAN