Şehir Hatları Administration represents the experience of 165 years, starting from the middle of the 19th Century. We can say that this experience has accumulated from three different enterprises until the middle 1940’s. This is because independent enterprises used to conduct passenger transportation by ferries in the Bosporus, the Marmara Sea and the Golden Horn from the middle of the 19th century until the mid-1940’s.
If we want to learn about the histories of these enterprises; briefly the foundations of the Marmara Sea line were laid in 1844 starting to operate ferries between Sirkeci in Istanbul and the Prince Islands, between Sirkeci and Pendik and between Sirkeci and Yeşilköy, and the ferry quays in Istanbul, İzmit, Gemlik and Tekirdağ under the Ministry of Maritime Affairs as the ‘Hazine-i Hassa Vapurları İdaresi’ (Administration of Ferries of the Private Treasury of the Ottoman Sultan).
The name of this administration was changed in 1862 to ‘Fevaid-i Osmaniye İdaresi’, to ‘İdare-i Aziziye İdaresi’ in 1871 and to ‘Osmanlı Seyr-i Sefain İdaresi’’ in 1910. In 1933 the AKAY administration was established under the umbrella of this enterprise operating in the Prince Islands, the quays on the Anatolian side and the Yalova line, namely the Marmara lines. And this administration later transformed into the Şehir Hatları Administration under the umbrella of the General Directorate of the Turkish State Maritime Lines established in 1937.
The ferry operations were gathered under a single roof in Istanbul after the Golden Horn Ferries Company, which had operated on the Golden Horn lines since 1858, was nationalized in 1941, and the ‘Şirket-i Hayriye’, which was established in 1851 to operate ferries on the Bosporus lines, was nationalized in 1945, with all their rights being transferred to the Şehir Hatları Administration.
In 2005 the Şehir Hatları Administration, which was under the umbrella of the Turkey Maritime Organization, was transferred to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality by a decision of the High Board of Privatization and was been the beginning of a new period in the Şehir Hatları Administration. Five new passenger ferries, the design of which were selected by a ballot by Istanbul residents, the new generation modern car ferries and three new Golden Horn ferries with large windows have been built and taken to service. At the same time the old generation passenger ferries and historical quays have been renovated and some quays have been re-built.
İstanbul Şehir Hatları Turizm San. Tic. A.Ş. was founded by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in 2010 in order to contribute maritime transportation in Istanbul and to find a solution to the traffic problems of the city. The company is also providing supplementary services related with transportation as well as the public transportation to the Bosporus, the Prince Islands and the Golden Horn.
Şehir Hatları is a modern enterprise in urban maritime transportation in Istanbul, with a strong brand value and a great corporate reputation, offering an alternative in transportation by providing public maritime transportation services, protecting the ferries, the shipyards and the quays that are symbols of our cultural heritage and it is the favored leader enterprise in urban maritime transportation.