200 Years of Şehir Hatları
Şehir Hatları provides public sea transportation services in Istanbul, creating an essential alternative in transportation. Şehir Hatları, with its modern identity and structure, has a substantial brand value, a respected historical reputation, and is the leading organization in urban sea transportation. Şehir Hatları provides public transportation services and transportation-related complementary services in the Bosphorus Strait, Princes’ Islands, and Golden Horn.
Strong Legacy Dating Back 200 Years
Şehir Hatları was formed in 1844 during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, and continued to evolve and improve to the current day, has a great and significant heritage.
The foundations of this heritage; are based on three separate enterprises that carried out sea transportation on the Bosphorus, Marmara, and Golden Horn lines until the mid-1940s.
In 1844 the Hazine-i Hassa Ferries Administration, which was affiliated to the Ottoman Navy Ministry, started running ferries between Sirkeci– Princes’ Islands, Sirkeci–Pendik, Sirkeci-Yeşilköy in Istanbul, as well as the ports of Istanbul, Izmit, Gemlik, and Tekirdağ.
The company changed its name multiple times. In 1862, it became the Fevaid-i Osmaniye Administration; in 1871, it became Idare-i Aziziye; in 1878, it became the Idare-i Mahsusa; and in 1910, it became the Ottoman Seyr-i Sefain Administration. In 1933, under the umbrella of the Seyr-i Sefain Administration AKAY Administration was founded. AKAY administration operated on the Marmara line consisting of Princes’ Islands, Anatolian Side piers, and Yalova line. In 1937 AKAY Administration became Şehir Hatları under the umbrella of the State Maritime Roads Management Directorate.
Gathering of Organizations under One Roof
The merging ferry transportation of Istanbul under Şehir Hatları began in 1941 when Haliç Vapurlari Sirketi, which operated on the Golden Horn line, joined Şehir Hatları. Sirket-i Hayriye, which was established in 1851 to operate ferries on the Bosphorus line, was nationalized in 1945, and its rights were transferred to Şehir Hatları. With this merger, ferry transportation of Istanbul gathered under one roof.
Since 1945, Şehir Hatları, which has taken on ferry transportation on the Bosphorus, Marmara, and Golden Horn lines, continued its activities under the Turkish Maritime Corporation established in 1983 and the General Directorate of Maritime Enterprises of Turkey, which was established in 1948.
New Era on Şehir Hatları
In 2005, Şehir Hatları, which had been operating under the Turkish Maritime Enterprises, was transferred to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality by the Privatization High Council of Turkey's decision. In this period, which was the beginning of a new era in Şehir Hatları, five new passenger ferries, a new generation of modern car ferry and three new Golden Horn ferries with panoramic visibility were built and commissioned. During the same period, restorations of old generation passenger ferries and ferry piers were carried out, and some piers were rebuilt.
In 2010, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality announced the Istanbul Şehir Hatları Corporation's formation to help solve traffic problems and improve sea transportation.