23 Şubat 2017 Perşembe

Trains Edition: Byzantine Ruins; Sofia Express

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Milliyet Newspaper, 23 February 2017)

Banliyö hattında  naylon altı tarih!
       Anywhere you turn a shovel in Turkey...

As work continues on the Haydarpaşa - Pendik commuter rail line,
late Byzantine ruins have been found along the route in the Feyzullah
neighborhood of İdealtepe.   The Istanbul Archeological Museum is
supervising the excavation.

However, it is noteworthy that a portion of the ruins are covered by
nylon tenting and pools of water and mud have formed.  Ankara
University's Dr. Serkan Sunay explained that "I'm sorry to say that
the excavation has not been done according to scientific criteria. I
wonder what's underneath the nylon tenting?  We know that this was
an historic peninsula and important residential area in Byzantine times.
Previous excavations here in Küçük Yalı found structures from the
Middle Byzantine period."

Image result for marmaray güzergahı
Work underway on lines left and right (2018 completion).
Marmaray trans-Bosphorus tunnel (center) has been operating
for a few years.

Architectural historian Prof. Dr. Afife Batur noted that "when such
ruins are found in Europe  the media and institutions espouse them.
Unfortunately, we're not sufficiently aware in Turkey. I have no doubt
that the Archeology Museum is sensitive to this but covering the ruins
with nylon and letting pools and mud accumulate is not the right way.
The ruins should be separated from the rail construction and the rail
line should be moved a few hundred meters so that the ruins are not
sacrificed for the rail line."

Image result for bizans küçük yalı haritası
Küçükyalı is along the Sea of Marmara's Anatolian coast.


türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Sözcü Newspaper, 18 February 2017)

Image result for halkalı sofya ile seferi
          Eat your heart out, AMTRAK.

Transportation Minister Ahmet Arslan has announced that the
rehabilitation of the 292-kilometer Kapıkule-Istanbul rail line has
been completed.  In a related development, Turkish Railways (TCDD)
and its Bulgarian counterpart began running the Istanbul-Sofia Express
as of 20 February.

The Bosfor Express between Istanbul and Bucharest, Romania, is
already running. Minister Arslan explained that "rail rehabilitation in
Thrace has been ongoing since June 2014.  The four-car Istanbul-
Sofia Express has two Turkish sleepers and one Bulgarian. Point of
departure from Istanbul is Halkalı."

In the summer, wagons will be added for connections to Belgrade
and Bucharest.  The Istanbul-Sofia Express departs Halkalı each
night at 2240 hours and from Sofia at 2100 hours.  The trip takes
9 hours and 50 minutes.

Image result for türk bulgar sınır haritası
Re-invading the Balkans 600 years later, this time by rail.

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