Railway Transportation in the Ottoman Empire

Railway Transport in the Ottoman Empire
Railway Transportation in the Ottoman Empire

Railway management in the Ottoman State is the political thoughts of the Ottoman rulers within the borders of the Ottoman Empire.

Road construction methods in the Ottoman Empire have long been made only by local administrators based on military needs. In the period when the state was strong and sound, it had progressed partially and was left aside as a whole. After the Tanzimat Edict, sorun Roads and Bridges Regulation üler was removed and a solution to the road problem was tried. In addition, it is foreseen that the means to provide links to agriculture and sea and transportation will be provided accordingly.

The fact that railway transportation in Europe and America as a rising model along with the developing and changing means of transport was of great importance for the Ottoman Empire in terms of economic, political and military aspects.

The railway was a rising model, its convenience and economy, its modernity. The situation of the Ottoman Empire alone was insufficient for these systems.

Abdülhamit's ideas about railways; to increase, to strengthen the military, rebellion and the prevention of banditry, as well as the production of agricultural products to the world market.

With the construction of the railroads, agricultural production would be increased and the revenues of taxes would increase. In addition, trade would develop, import and export customs duties would be transferred to the treasury. In the places where the railroad passes, rich mineral deposits will be opened to enterprises and the mining production will be increased.

The economic inadequacy of the Ottoman Empire in the transportation of railways caused the interests of the European imperialist states to be built according to their economic and political interests and to consider their interests.

Unlike the profitable objective of the railroad in the Ottoman Empire, it led the European state to think about its policies. Because the European states were undergoing economic and political pressure to gain privileges on the railway. The aim of Europe was to establish the regions of the population by entering the railway construction in the Ottoman Empire. French and British, especially in this situation, after the 1889 developed in favor of Germany.

European states wanted to strengthen their social bases by making a railway in the Ottoman Empire and to have privileges on the Ottoman Empire. However, they have always been in competition to make rail. When a state built a railway and gained a privilege, another state was pressuring and taking advantage of privilege.

Another situation towards the interests of the European states is the transition route of the railways, which is a major problem in the Ottoman Empire. The fact that the railroad started from the center, that is, from Istanbul, did not come to Europe. Therefore, they were in favor of the railroad from the Mediterranean.

Another issue Europe uses; The debts of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans were given privileges in return for debts or were offered privileges when they were asked to borrow.

The first railway construction in the Ottoman Empire emerged with the Tanzimat. Later, after the establishment of the Düyûnu General Directorate, it gained speed. However, the railway companies targeted the Düyûnu General Directorate.

The railways in the Ottoman Empire were carried out by foreign capital, except for the Hejaz Line. First it was kept under the patronage of the English, then the French and the Germans.

One of the most important methods of the Ottoman railroad; is a privilege of railway construction. Km. guarantee of companies with the system called the guarantee of the Ottoman Empire was guaranteed. If the railway companies made a profit under the guaranteed profit, the Ottomans would meet this difference.

On the other hand, the treasury places where the line will pass will be given to the production company free of charge. Again, the construction and maintenance materials of the railway were exported without customs duty.

Erzurum during the Ottoman period 356 remaining from the Russians kilometer-Sarikamish-except for the border line, the state has made itself 1564 kilometer Hejaz line and total 6778-kilometer railway construction Turkia Republic of Turkey from the road with his 8343 kilometer railway of foreign companies remained 4112 km within the boundaries. However, these railways, which are shaped by external pressures and which extend from the ports to the inner regions in a tree view, have served more European states rather than the country's interests. National and independent methods could not be observed during the Ottoman period.


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