Tired woman of the bosphorus Suhulet...

Tired woman of the bosphorus Suhulet...

Date: 15/04/2021


There is woman's name in the seas, but in some countries her presence is considered bad luck. Let alone taking the helm, there were times in the past when it was not even taken as a passenger. However, ships that breach the aggressiveness of the blue are often named after women. But femininity is always attributed to them. Although there are different beliefs about keeping women away from the deck, their presence has often brought elegance, luck and order to the ships. Unfortunately, the juxtaposition of ship and women also emerges in Turkey in recent years.

We are starting to hear their names in the last 20 or even 30 years. Even the ferryboats, which are the continuation of the one of the oldest shipping companies in the world, Firma-i Hayriye, have opened up their pilot houses for new women. First, I want to talk about Suhulet, the world's first ferryboat, afterwards, about the women who took office. The name of the ferry, which started the first voyage in the Bosphorus, is known as Swift. Firma-İ Hayriye that is established 23 years after Swift landed in 1828, is also the first joint-stock company in our land. These voyages, which brought the two sides together, changed colors and tasks with a design by Hüseyin Haki Efendi, who is the head of the company. The first prototype of the "car ferry", which is the present-day ferry, was completed in 1872 and reached Turkish waters.


Homeland Poet Namık Kemal became the name father of that ship and named it Suhulet. Suhulet, a female name, meant "Ease, Softness". A brother was needed to accompany Suhulet, who faced the rebellion of boatmen and was protected by the soldiers, on the Bosphorus. Again, an order was placed in England, and in 1873 his brother came to Istanbul, where he would sometimes go side by side and sometimes face to face. A name was required and Namık Kemal was reached again. The name chosen was Sahilbent. That is, the one who reaches and meets the two coasts. Suhulet, one of the brothers who made 4 trips a day on the Üsküdar-Kabataş-Sirkeci line, said goodbye to the blues in 1952, exactly on his 80th birthday. Sahilbent lasted a little longer; He made his last expedition in 1958.

One of the brothers, Suhulet, did not only spend 80 years in the Istanbul part of the Bosphorus. Being the hero of war as well as peace, Suhulet was armed in the Dardanelles War, one of the most famous naval battles in the world. He did not get a medal, but he carried thousands of medalists and gave life.


If you cross the Bosphorus from one side to the other, it is possible to come across the names Suhulet and Sahilbent. In 2007, two steamers were named after two sisters. Again, on the Sirkeci-Harem line, they bring hectic people together with their homes, jobs and loved ones, as it was a century ago. It has been almost a century and a half since these ferries, of which named by Namık Kemal, first launched to the sea. For the first time last year, these ferries met with female employees.

In September, Citylines, owned by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, broke new ground and added five female sailors aged 19-23 to its staff last year. Five women with maritime training are just as successful as men in everything from roping to scouting and ship maintenance.