Istanbul's Haydarpasa train station - time capsule to a borderless Middle East

Published July 23rd, 2015 - 03:05 GMT
Istanbul's historic Haydarpasa train station ablaze in November 2010.  The terminal - which once connected Turkey's capital to cities as far as Basra and Medinah - survived the fire, but plans for its future remain uncertain.  (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
Istanbul's historic Haydarpasa train station ablaze in November 2010. The terminal - which once connected Turkey's capital to cities as far as Basra and Medinah - survived the fire, but plans for its future remain uncertain. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

Terminal terminus  

Dozens of train cars - white with blue trim and deep red doors - sit proud yet lonely in Haydarpaşa Terminal, unsure of when they'll depart again from one of Istanbul's most emblematic landmarks.

The majestic Haydarpaşa, built in a regal neoclassical style by two German architects in the early 1900's, was a lofty present from Kaiser Wilhelm II to the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II. The starting point and final destination on important domestic and international routes during the late Ottoman period and throughout the Turkish Republic, the station now lies dormant, unused since 2013.

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Syria's media devastation in graphics  

With over four million refugees having fled to neighbouring countries, the crisis has become the single largest refugee emergency for almost a quarter of a century, says UNHCR. Far more than 210,000 have died, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The impact on the country’s media has been disastrous with infrastructure turned to rubble and masses of journalists injured, kidnapped, killed or on the run.

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Anbar: a tale of two offensives 

When the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) lost control of Anbar’s provincial capital Ramadi just under a year after their infamous loss of Mosul to the marauding Islamic State (Daesh) group late last May it became clear that Daesh wouldn’t be defeated anytime soon and that the liberation of Iraq’s second-city Mosul would be postponed. In a desperate bid to rectify this state-of-affairs we are witnessing two offensives gradually materialize. One, by the ISF and some affiliated paramilitary elements supported by United States air strikes, to retake Ramadi and another, by the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU’s) umbrella fighting force, to retake Fallujah.

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