A press release was made by Haydarpaşa Solidarity due to the 10th anniversary of the fire that broke out in Haydarpaşa Station. Below is the press statement read by Murat Oral, the President of our Union, in front of the Haydarpaşa Station building.
"In the 10th year of the fire, Haydarpaşa is still closed"
It has been a decade since Haydarpaşa Train Station, our historical and cultural heritage, was severely damaged by the fire that broke out during the careless and uncontrolled maintenance work on Sunday, November 28, 2010.
When we look at the history of Haydarpaşa Station, the fires that took place as a result of the sabotage during the deployment of soldiers in 1917, the bombing of British planes in 1918 and the explosion of the fuel-laden tanker named Independenta in the Bosphorus in 1979 caused serious damage to the station.
With the technology of 1917, the repair of the penthouse and wooden joinery, which was completely burned down as a result of the fire and explosion in 1918 and 1930, could be done within two years. While the restoration of the attic floor, which was partially burned in the fire on 28 November 2010, and the damaged wooden joinery and exterior cladding stones, which started in 2016, is said to be completed in 500 days, it has not been completed in the last four years.
The 2010 fire is the concrete beginning of the process that left Haydarpaşa without people, ferries and trains, and left it alone. For this reason, the 2010 Haydarpaşa fire, just like forest fires, prepared the environment for the "urban transformation" applications that are desired to be carried out in the existing area.
The tripartite relationship between fire, the closure of Haydarpaşa Station and transformation was revealed with the restoration project in 2014. Within the scope of this project, the roof floor of the Gar was given commercial functions under the name of exhibition hall, restaurant and conference hall. New functions such as a transparent elevator leading to the roof in the inner courtyard of the building and a transparent roof cover that covers the inner courtyard, underground car park and market are also envisaged.
Haydarpaşa Solidarity components TMMOB Chamber of Architects and BTS's determined struggle and Kadıköy As a result of the Municipality's refusal to grant a construction license to the restoration project, the additional functions given to the Haydarpaşa Train Station were canceled and the restoration project was revised, and it was announced that the Haydarpaşa Train Station would be restored in accordance with its original and will continue to function as a station.
At the end of all this process, the restoration of Haydarpaşa Train Station could only begin in 2016. Although a significant part of the restoration has been completed today, the restoration has not been completed yet.
Considering the development of today's technological possibilities, wouldn't the restoration work of Haydarpaşa, the central station of the 20 million mega-city, which is vital for railway transportation, should not have been completed within the program and the promised time?
The prolongation of the restoration process not only delays the return of Haydarpaşa Station to its main function, but also prevents the public's right to transport by rail.
In order to reopen Haydarpaşa Train Station, which was closed to passenger and freight transportation due to the construction of Marmaray and YHT projects, the archaeological excavations that started during the renewal of the train tracks should be completed as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we do not provide transparent and accessible information about the ongoing restoration and archaeological excavations at Haydarpaşa Train Station, and content with different statements varying from minister to minister.
In our urban planning studies, we emphasize once again that Haydarpaşa Station and Port should not be considered separately from the function of railway and maritime transport.
10 years have passed since the Haydarpaşa fire. And during these 10 years, neither the restoration, archaeological excavations, nor the desire for transformation of Haydarpaşa Train Station are over.
Four years is a whole lot, not enough time for restoration? In such time, Haydarpaşa Train Station could have been restored twice and already put into service.
As the components of Haydarpaşa Solidarity, we demand once again that the restoration and archaeological excavations of the Haydarpaşa Train Station be completed as soon as possible and that the Haydarpaşa Train Station is open to the public as soon as possible with respect to all kinds of cultural heritage and as a station function.
We have to mention that a process that leaves Haydarpaşa's future uncertain or tries to quit is still in progress. For this reason, we call on all city residents to claim the only central station of our city. Our struggle will continue for Haydarpaşa Train Station to remain as a station.