Photographer's Note

The Bosphorus Bridge is 34 years old

During the time of the Ottoman Empire, the residents of the Bosphorus consisted solely of fishermen, boatsmen and gardeners. Transportation costs between the villages of the Bosphorus, the manner in which the boats called pereme were boarded and the number of people that could be accommodated were set by regulation. In particular the peremes has to be long and wide. The rules prohibited that they function as sailboats, that men and women travel together and overcrowding.

According to historical records, the first bridge linking the two sides of the Bosphorus was commissioned by the Persian emperor Darius in 490 BC. (The bridge consisted of boats.) The story of this bridge, which accorded a Persian army of 700 thousand safe passage, is as follows: "Having advanced to the shores of the Bosphorus, the Persian emperor Darius ordered Mandrocles of Samos to construct a bridge. Darius was highly satisfied with the bridge constructed by Mandrocles that linked the temple on the mouth of Pontus Euxeinos (the Black Sea) and the Bacchus temple near Propontis (the Marmara Sea)."
The bridge rejected by Abdülhamit
A project submitted to the Ottoman sultan Abdulhamit on November 19, 1900 stated that the Bosphorus could be linked at two points to connect the European and Asian continents. The first bridge would be located between Sarayburnu and Üsküdar, the second, between Rumelihisarı and Anadoluhisarı. A railway would run over the bridges. In a postscript to the project for the bridge, which would be called the Hamidiye after the name of the sultan, it was noted that the idea of a bridge across the Bosphorus first came up before the Ottoman-Russian war in 1877-1878 and gained significance after the concessions granted to Germany for the Baghdad Railway. The new bridge was projected to have the same coordinates as the one Darius commissioned for his army and it was said that it would add to the elegance of the Bosphorus: "This great work adorned with minarets and domes in the architectural style of northwestern Africa will reveal the graceful contours of an iron mesh suspended by steel wire between the wooden legs."
The Hamidiye bridge project was given the cold shoulder by Abdülhamit. A few years later the idea resurfaced in the form of an underwater passage. This time the project consisted of tube that would be installed on the seabed on 16 legs. But this time as well, the project was discarded as purely fantastic and was suspended.
Bosphorus linked by wire!
Every stage in the construction of the Bosphorus Bridge was given full coverage by the press. The guide wire was stretched on January 11, 1972. The headline: "The shores of the Bosphorus linked by wire." Then in April the technical staff crossed the service bridge built on the guide wires. Another striking headline was "The first to go from Europe to Asia on foot."
Article by: Gökhan Akçura

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