Sirkeci Station (Sirkeci
Gar) was Istanbul's
historic terminus for trains from Edirne and
Europe, designed by Prussian architect August Jasmund and inaugurated on February 11th, 1888 during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II.
Though officially named Istanbul
knows it as Sirkeci to differentiate
it from Haydarpaşa
Gar (1908), the newer terminus on the Asian
shore of the Bosphorus.
Sirkeci is where the famed Orient
Express ended its
run from Paris, at this 19th-century
Orientalist station near Seraglio
Point beneath the walls of Topkapı
Palace, right next to Eminönü,
its ferry docks,
With the opening of the Marmaray regional train line on October 29, 2013, Sirkeci Station took on a new purpose as an important stop on this cross-Bosphorus rail line.
European and Turkish-Thracian intercity trains no longer arrive and depart at Sirkeci. (The Bosphorus Express, connecting Istanbul with Bulgaria, Romania, central and western European countries, departs from Halkalı, 28 km [17 miles] west of Sirkeci.)
Even so, it's a pleasure to stroll
through the station and imagine
the famous 19th-century luxury train
ariving in Constantinople with its eminent
passengers being met by uniformed dragomans (guide-interpreters)
from the great European embassies. More...
There's a short history of the station
on this page of the Turkish
State Railways website.
district is becoming
known for its good—and good value—hotels
Buses and airplanes now
carry more passengers between Istanbul and
Europe than do trains.
However, the future looks bright for train travel within Turkey, however. New high-speed train lines connect Istanbul, Eskişehir, Ankara and Konya, with many more lines planned or under construction. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan