Behiç Erkin's Name Will Live on at Metro Istanbul Campus.
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality named the largest urban rail system centre in Turkey, built in Ümraniye, which has the first 2-storey train parking area after the name of Behiç Erkin, the founder and first general manager of Turkish State Railways.
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) kept the name of Behiç Erkin, the founder and first general manager of Turkish State Railways, one of the logistical heroes of the War of Independence. Erkin's name was given to the Rail Systems Plant, which will be used as the command centre of the 3 metro lines on the Anatolian side of the city. Behiç Erkin Rail System Plant in Ümraniye is commissioned with the participation of the Mayor of IMM Ekrem İmamoğlu, the late Erkin's grandson Emir Kıvırcık, and the painter Teymur Rzayev, who painted Erkin's painting that was hanged at the entrance of the plant. In the opening ceremony, respectively, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and IMM Deputy Secretary General Pelin Alpkökin delivered speeches.
“We took over a completely stopped construction site at 33%”
Describing the Metropolitan Municipality Metro Istanbul Behiç Erkin Rail Systems Plant as “the place where the trains that will serve on the metro lines on the Anatolian side of the city are collected and maintained”. Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said, “we have maintenance workshop, heavy maintenance workshop, open and closed train parking areas, transformer buildings and of course the administrative buildings at this plant. Emphasizing that they took over the plant construction site, which they commissioned, at a level of 33% and completely stopped, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said, “We experienced the same strangeness on the Dudullu - Bostancı line. Because a loan was used from provincial Bank at that time, part of it, almost half of it, was constructed with a loan of 1.6 billion. That line was stopped when that money ran out, because there was no preparation for resources, and there was no plan to make it from own resources".
“If IMM has become unable to construct the metro line at that time, the reason is purely a skill and priority problem”
Repeating that the metro issue is a vital issue for Istanbul, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said:
“Today, we transport almost 9 million people in one day in Istanbul. What does 9 million people mean? That means we carry as many people as the population of London. However, we have an underground one-third of the metro line in London. Therefore, the path we have to take, the things that have been neglected and unfinished until today, in fact, all of you should know and understand what a huge goal you have left and set in front of us. Therefore, we quickly got to work. So to speak, we quickly dealt with our metro construction sites, some of which have been standing for months, some for years, which seem a bit lonely. Even some construction sites were dangerous for the city where there were excavations underground, after all. As soon as we took office, we started our operation by taking their precautions. This process is a historical process. Let us underline that this period that we have experienced in Istanbul is a historical process that will be talked about a lot in the future, especially about the metro lines. It should definitely be stated that; if Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality could not construct at that time, could not do business at that time, if the metro could not be constructed, the reason is purely a skill problem, a priority problem. What subject is it a concentration problem to do? It is a problem of managing a city, a municipality with squandering. Now, if things are running smoothly and the wheels are turning, if we are proudly cutting that ribbon while realising many works such as the construction of this important centre; The only reason for this is, believe me, to concentrate on our work, to serve Istanbul, to save Istanbul's budget from squandering, to make it a fruitful budget, to institutionalize the cooperation process with political mechanisms that take into account the technical people, the words of qualified managers who know their job, and their suggestions. Implementing the concept of governing with morality gives you such results”.
“Being a city that carries out 10 metro constructions at the same time is important, but …”
“If you want to serve the public, you carry out projects that serve the public; this is what we do,” said Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and said, “It is important to become the city that carries out the most metro constructions in the world. It is important to operate the most metro construction sites in the world at the same time. However, it is not the same thing to be the administration that has no known sources or some of its projects are not clarified, and carries out the most metro tenders at the same time. So you do the bidding, but if the site does not work, it will not. For example Mahmutbey - Esenyurt Metro Line. In other words, there was no project, no construction site. For example, Göztepe - Ataşehir - Ümraniye line passing under Finans Şehir. There are also concerns here. It is a very important line. This line is one of the lines we took over at 2-3% level. Just as the metro, which was built on the base and proudly described as the Finans Şehir, was not started, which is supposed to pass under a place where only 80 thousand employees are expected to come. We started these works".
“We are proud to realize the stopped projects of Istanbul one by one”
Saying, "We are proud to realize the stopped projects of Istanbul one by one by coordinating their finances and managing a fertile budget," Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said:
“We generated 1.4 billion euros for Istanbul. We had to! Because both medium and long-term financing is important in such investments. Unfortunately, there is another shortcoming. Since July 2019, no public institution has given us a single penny loan. Not a single public institution! This is a painful situation. IMM is an institution that has done business even though it cannot get them from public banks and public institutions. To this date, we have commissioned 29.9-kilometer rail system line. I hope that together with Dudullu - Bostancı, we will carry this to a level that will exceed 45 kilometres by including Fulya - Yıldız this year. This happened in a period of 3.5 years. What this means let me tell you: It is almost three times the average of the past 20-25 years. If Istanbul constructs 15-20 kilometres of metro lines a year, it can make up for this shortcoming. By 2025, we are advancing with the goal of bringing 104 kilometres of new metro line to Istanbul”.
“We are in an effort to turn our faces to our people by telling our business”
Emphasizing that Istanbul needs new metro lines, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu gave examples of the projects they prepared in this context. Saying, “We are in an effort to turn our faces towards our people, not by preventing them, not by telling these things, but by explaining our job,” Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu pointed out that they turned their faces to the inspiring special moments and people of recent history. Emphasizing that Behiç Erkin is one of these names, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said, “We will never forget that our beautiful Republic, whose 100th year we are advancing with hope and excitement, stands on the efforts of such conscientious figures and true patriots. After the War of Independence, in the struggle for development and enlightenment, the beautiful Republic rises above the efforts of our many heroes, whose names we know and do not know, but each of them has a special place in our hearts. In this respect, we commemorate the unique struggle of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with respect and gratitude, and we commemorate both his comrades in arms and his valuable companions such as Behiç Erkin with gratitude in the presence of all of you, and we bow before them with respect".
“When naming; you should hang the sign, not to offend someone, but to set an example for future generations”
Saying, “Obviously, you should think about it once and hang up that sign while naming it,” said Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, “These are not easy jobs. When naming you should hang the sign not to be useful to someone, but to set an example for future generations. When naming you should hang those signs, not to save the present, but to build bridges of healthy, historical information to the future. Otherwise, you will have to look, after a few years you will have to take those signs down. It is possible to see this in the recent pages of our history. In that respect, we have all experienced together that this is a sensitive issue, what a special task we performed when our friends brought this name to us, what a great job we did and what a correct decision we made”.
Pelin Alpkökin shared information about the plant
IMM Deputy Secretary General Pelin Alpkökin started her speech by thanking Erkin's grandson Emir Kıvırcık for allowing the use of the name "Behiç Erkin". Alpkökin shared the following information:
“But like Bostancı-Dudullu, this place also stopped. Together with our Bostancı-Dudullu line, we have given speed and importance to the works here with the resumption of the Bostancı-Dudullu metro in order to open the plant here, the parking areas and the command centre we are in today, the heart and mind of Metro Istanbul on the Anatolian side, into service as soon as possible. This plant is built to manage Üsküdar-Ümraniye-Çekmeköy-Sultanbeyli, Ümraniye-Ataşehir-Göztepe and Bostancı-Dudullu lines from a control centre and from a single point. However, we also have a Kadıköy-Sabiha Gökçen Airport line on the Anatolian side. After completing the Pendik connection of our Kadıköy-Sabiha Gökçen line, we want to take the command centre of that line here. Therefore, this plant will be an important command centre that manages every part of the Anatolian side in a very short time. The command centre you see above today also has a nice side. The tests of our Bostancı-Dudullu line, which will be ready for our passengers at the end of next month, are also being checked from here today. All tests are conducted from here. There is a very intensive work at our Bostancı-Dudullu line. Now we are planting our totems. We are completing our input-output structures. An important part of the certification processes of our tests will be done this month, and the remaining two certificates will be obtained in December. And our line will be ready for passengers at the end of December and will be managed from here”.
“It will serve more than 2 million passengers”
Ozgur Soy, General Manager of Metro Istanbul, said, “Behiç Erkin Plant, with an area of 200,000 square meters and a closed area of 78,000 square meters, has the command centre that manages the most lines simultaneously in Turkey. M5 Üsküdar-Çekmeköy Metro Line and Çekmeköy-Sultanbeyli extension, M8 Bostancı-Dudullu Metro Line and M12 Göztepe-Ümraniye Metro Line, 3 fully automated metro lines on the Anatolian Side will be managed from here. This is a rare practice in the world. Our 560 square meter control centre is located in Turkey's largest control centre in urban rail systems. With the completion of our M5, M8 and M12 lines, we will serve more than 2 million passengers a day from this command centre”.
After the speeches, Behiç Erkin Rail Systems Plant was officially commissioned with the ribbon cut by Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, IMM bureaucrats, the late Erkin's grandson Emir Kıvırcık and the painter Teymur Rzayev, who painted the painting of Erkin, which was hung at the entrance of the plant.
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