The Story of Istanbul Ferries Uniting Two Sides Before Bridges

The Story of Istanbul Ferries Uniting Two Sides Before Bridges

History of Istanbul's ferries

The history of Istanbul's steamboat adventure dates back to 1827. The first ferry of the Istanbul Strait was taken during the reign of Mahmut II. This ship, led by British Captain Kelly, was named Swift. But among the people, this ship was called the Buğ Ship. The shipyard Amire purchased this ship. After the purchase of this ferry, the demand for transportation started to increase day by day. With the capitulations of 1837, two Russians and one British company launched two ferries. However, the Ottoman Empire soon forbade the ferry to operate. In 1838, two more ferries, Mesir-i Bahri and Eser-i Hayır, were purchased to meet the increasing demand for transportation in Istanbul. One ship served in Istanbul, and the other served on the Izmit, Tekirdag, Bandirma and Istanbul routes. At this time, the Treasury-i Hassa Ferry Administration, which is responsible for maritime transport, started to transport with Humapervaz. By the year 1851 that the first joint-stock company was founded in Abdülmecid Turkey Company-i Auspicious. Şirket-i Hayriye bought six ships from the UK and started to transport both passengers and cargo. Şirket-i Hayriye has played an important role in the life of Istanbul residents for 94 years. Until 1945, there were steamers with samovar chimneys, elegant hand wheels and black painted steamers.

During this period, the Company's Hayriye's Rumeli No. 1, Tarabya No. 2, Göksu No. 3, Beylerbeyi No. 4, Tophane No. 5 and Beşiktaş No. 6 steamer were 60 horsepower models capable of 5-6 mph. As the mansions and main decks were open, passengers and captains had difficulty. During its 94-year, Şirket-i Hayriye had 77 ferryboats. Two of these ferries were built in Istanbul, 66 in England, 6 in France, two in Germany and one in the Netherlands. There were three coal ships in addition to the 77 steamers. Some of the ferries of Şirket-i Hayriye became indispensable for the people. The first Turkish captain of Şirket-i Hayriye was Rıza Ömer Kaptan from Beykoz. But almost all of the first captains were non-Muslims, including Greek Cypriots. Şirket-i Hayriye also had many piers. On the Anatolian side; Anatolian Poplar, Beykoz, Paşabahçe, Çubuklu, Kanlıca, Anadoluhisarı, Kandilli, Küçüksu, Vaniköy, Çengelköy, Beylerbeyi, Kuzguncuk, Üsküdar, Harem, Salacak, Haydarpaşa; Altinkum, Rumelikavagi, Yenimahalle, Sariyer, Buyukdere, Kirecburnu, Tarabya, Yenikoy, Istinye, Emirgan, Boyacikoy, Rumelihisari, Bebek, Arnavutkoy, Kurucesme, Ortakoy, Besiktas, Kabatas and Salipazari were located on the European side. In addition to all these, there was Sütlüce pier in the Golden Horn.

Hayriye's ferries were at the disposal of the army in wars such as the Balkan Wars of 1912 and the Tripoli War of 1911. He also lost ten boats in World War I, and 5 of them became unusable. The company was on the verge of bankruptcy and was able to stand with 18 ferries and state support. After the proclamation of the Republic in 1944, the assets were purchased and nationalized. The assets and ferries were sold to the State Maritime Company. With the law in 1945, it was referred to as the Turkey Maritime Business.


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