'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

Trains And Boats And Planes . .

Haskoy drydock. . they mean a trip to Paris or Rome tra-la-la . . or, in this case, Istanbul – to the  historic dockyard, founded in 1861 by the former Ottoman Maritime Company. It lies on the north shore of the Golden Horn in the district of Hasköy. The site, together with the Lengerhane building (which was initially used for casting anchors and chains for the Ottoman navy, during the rule of Ahmet III (1703–1730)) across the road, houses the Rahmi M Koç Museum. This is, in my opinion, one of the finest industrial museums you will ever visit – a world-class establishment!

a reciprocating huff-puff

 a reciprocating huff’n’puff

If you love things that go rumble, huff and puff, whirr and whizz, reciprocate, go in and out or up and down, have classic lines, need steam or petrol or oil or oars or sails or . . . whatever, to bring them to life, have knobs and buttons to fiddle with and burnished metal and coachwork to stroke – then I promise you’ll want to take this place home and introduce it to your mother! It is gorgeous!

There are workshops and slipways where real work is carried out to rebuild and refurbish the constantly growing collection. There are toys and models and the real things – you can start and stop a ship’s mighty steam engines and imagine yourself, somewhere, out there, pounding through the world’s oceans to exotic lands and ports, in the days when there were still places waiting to be discovered.

Koc Museum slipway

 work on the slipway

J and I have been twice now, and we’ll no doubt go again – there is never enough time and there is always more to see – try it for yourself (except on Mondays, of course). Meanwhile enjoy a few photos of the place.


old ‘Invicta’ traction engine built near to where I was born

carved ivory bicycle

amazing carved ivory bicycle (bad business but still amazing)

beautiful old Buick

beautiful old 1933 Buick

steam driven saw Koc Museum

steam-driven plank saw (more later)

steam launch 'Ezra' Koc Museum

immaculate restoration of steam launch ‘Esra’

tram with stuffed horses and driver

a place of my own

another chuffin’ puffer

There are so many more photos – from planes to submarines to motor cycles to memorabilia from Koc’s round the world sailing trip – better you go and see for yourself. My bet is that you will return time and again. Finally, here is a bit of video of heaven on earth for old boffers like me – when I shuffle off this mortal coil I hope they stuff me and park me at the bench, taps and dies in hand!

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

24 thoughts on “Trains And Boats And Planes . .

  1. This looks like my kind of place Alan and quite sure I have not heard of it before. The old photos are lovely. Not making it to Istanbul this winter but will put it on the do to list for future reference.

    1. I find it impossible not to smile to myself whenever I think of the place – let me know what you think after you visit.

  2. Merhaba; your post brought many happy memories back; I do like Rahmi Koc Museum, so agree with you, such a fine and fun industrial museum – I am taking my 8 year old son there in Feb, thanks to you!

  3. Oh, I just went there the other week and agree with you – this place is amazing. I as struck by the beauty of the cars ad boats and the old trams. Definitely, a place to visit a few times.

  4. I just went the other week. I was stunned by the beauty of the old cars and boats. Definitely, a place to go more than once.

  5. Thank you for sharing these pictures Alan. I’m a fan of vintage transportation. They’re a real break through back then. Probably with the exception of the coach run by horses. HAHA!

    1. Hello Connor and welcome to Archers! If you are ever in Istanbul then do find time for this place – it is pretty damn good.

  6. Looks wonderful…a little boy’s paradise (perhaps a little girl’s paradise too). Thank you for the great photos. That ivory bicycle was amazing (although I agree with you, bad business). Thanks again for a fascinating post.

  7. We are a bit embarrassed to say that, even though we could probably walk there in 45 minutes, we’ve never visited. We will definitely correct that error this year. Your posting, including the fine video, is a great motivator.

    1. . . there’s a short train ride along the edge of the Golden Horn that might bring back memories and have you dusting off the conductor’s hats.

  8. I hope the driver isn’t stuffed! When you come to Bodrum you must go to the tiny marine museum in the centre. Nothing big like in your photos above, but beautifully made models of Bodrum boats and pictures of the old boat yards.

  9. Steam! We must go next time we are in Istanbul. I have never cared greatly for the internal combustion engine (though I do like bikes which roar), but I always enjoy things that run on steam. Though I like it best when they run and smell of steam….
    Used to have friends in Yorkshire who ‘rescued’ old steam engines and put them in their garden. They also rescued old bikes…

    1. depends what they have working/fired up – which is limited, of course. But the whole feel of the place is pretty good and so much can be touched and stroked – it’s certainly a several visits place just to get around and do stuff justice.

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