The Hejaz railway was a narrow-gauge railway, opened in 1908, that ran from Damascus to Medina, through the Hejaz region of modern day Saudi Arabia, with a branch line to Haifa on the Mediterranean Sea.

hicaz rail
hicaz rail

The Ottoman Empire was very sensitive about the adaptation of modern technology to the country. For example, it is seen that communication technology such as the telegraph was transferred to the Ottoman country shortly after it started to be used in the West. The telegraph began to be used in the west in 1832 and in the Ottoman Empire in 1853. The first proposals for railway construction in the Ottoman Empire coincided with the use of railways in the west. First, the British officer Francis Chesney’s project in the 1830s to connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf partly by rail and partly by river.

The idea of ​​building the railways in the Ottoman country was built on different concerns for the Ottoman and Western countries. Railways in the Ottoman Empire, the state’s influence in the country’s far-flung corner, to take an important role in ensuring the security of the country, to contribute to the development of the country, the opening of new land to the production and product variety, the country to integrate market integration and more efficient tax collection was important. From the point of view of England in the western countries, especially in the United Kingdom, which has made the industrial revolution ahead, the countries of the continent have been banned to enter other markets, the UK has found new markets to its own products and the countries benefit from the raw material resources. it would be possible. Similar concerns were raised for other western countries.


There were many proposals for the construction of the railway in the Hejaz region, both domestic and foreign. 1864’de German-American engineer Dr. Charles F. Zimpel’s railway project to unite the Red Sea and Damascus was rejected on the grounds of two fundamental grounds; one was the reaction of the Arab tribes on the route, and the other was the high cost of the railway. At the 1872, German engineer Wilhelm von Pressel was suggested to provide significant facilities for the military control of the Hijaz, particularly in the railway project for Ottoman Asia. In this case, in the 1874 of the Ottoman army, Ahmed Rashid, 1878, Elphinstone Dalrmple in the offer of a British.

A detailed design for the construction of the railroad in the Hejaz area was arranged by Hasan Fehmi Pasha of Nafia at 1880. Hasan Fehmi Pasha’s foundation was a general project for the development of the country. Hicaz Governor and Commander Osman Nuri Pasha was another name. Osman Nuri Pasha had written a reformatory at 1884. 1892’e again presented a layiha. Another offer at 1890 is Dr. The governor belonged to Shahire.

Ahmet Izzet Efendi was the most experienced in the Hicaz region. While Ahmet Izzet Efendi was the director of Jeddah Evkaf, he was presenting the importance of the railroad that will be built to the Hejaz in layihada, which he presented through the Ministry of Naval Forces at 1892 February. Ahmet Izzet Efendi, who was doing analyzes on the backwardness of the Hejaz region, referred to the security of the region. Ahmet Izzet Efendi pointed to the emergence of a new danger for the Arabian peninsula, especially for the Hejaz region, and for the activities of the countries carrying colonialist aspirations. Especially with the opening of the Suez Canal, the Arabian peninsula entered the area of ​​interest and intervention of Europeans and became open to external threats and attacks.

Ahmet İzzet Efendi said that only a defence from the land was possible in the face of an intervention from the sea to the holy land, in order for this to be done from Damascus or any other suitable place to the Hejaz. Layihada especially the Muslim Qibles and the holy land of the Prophet’s holy sacred territory of all kinds of protection would be possible to protect this line was specified. On the other hand, it was emphasized that with the security of the pilgrimage road, more pilgrims and visitors would contribute to the future and the economy of the region. According to Ahmet İzzet Efendi, the Hijaz region would be controlled and the political position of the Ottoman Empire in Arabia would be strengthened thanks to the military superiority and convenience provided by the railway line. Since the transportation and transportation facilities to be constructed will increase, there will be positive contributions to the development of the region.

Ahmet Izzet Efendi’s release is on 19 February 1892. He was presented to Abdulhamid. The Sultan sent Nate to Harbiye Feriki Mehmed Sakirir Pasha to learn the content and get his views. Mehmed Şâkir Pasha, together with the technical details of the issue, emphasized the economic importance of the railway and the political dominance of the Ottoman Empire in the region.

Egyptian Supreme Commissioner Ahmet Muhtar Pasha 1897 in the history of II. He pointed to the British activities in the event of a failure in Abdulhamid, noting that the African coasts opposite the Hejaz and Yemen coasts and some of the interior points would be in danger of future occupation. Again, the port of Sevakin into the hands of the British, the holy land of an external force of the threat and entered into the domain. According to the Pasha, diplomatic initiatives should be carried out by the British and a railway line extending from Konya to Damascus and Damascus to the Suez Canal should be laid. With the railway line, it is mentioned that the power of Ottoman Empire to protect the caliphate will increase and many benefits will be provided.

In the 1897 there was the idea of ​​a Muslim journalist Mohammad Inashallah, a Damascus-Medina-Mecca railroad that was to be built by the Ottoman state and financed by Muslims all over the world. This railway would extend to Yemen. Muhammed İnşaallah had intensified propaganda for the realization of this project through Islamic newspapers. Probably due to this propaganda, the issue of the Hejaz Railway was negotiated in the Ottoman government council.


Sultan Abdulhamid considered the construction of the railway in the Ottoman lands as a military and strategic necessity, and thought that it would be possible to have an easy mobilization during war or any internal disturbance. In the 93 war, it was seen how important the Istanbul-Plovdiv railway was in the dispatch of soldiers. Seljuk-Istanbul, the monastery-Thessaloniki lines that 1897 provided in the Ottoman-Greek War, strengthened the idea of ​​railway construction, which Sirb and Montenegro ordered to build upon the troubles faced by the lack of railway lines. The Sultan also did not ignore the economic and political benefits of the railway.

According to Sultan Abdulhamid, the Arabian Peninsula had a special place. The presence of Mecca and Medina, the holy cities of the Muslim world, and the fact that Abdulhamid was also the caliph of Islam increased interest in the region. The influence of the Sultan and the Ottoman Empire in the Islamic world as a means of penetration and leadership was possible not only in the theoretical plan but also in practice. Also in Arabia, 19. century was a new target and interest of European imperialism, which was strengthened. Again, it was necessary to take into account the leaders of the Bedouin leaders.

The only thing to be done against these conditions was to protect these large territories, where the Muslim Qibles were, at all costs against internal and external dangers. For this reason II. As Abdulhamid knew the importance of Arabia for its political future, he meticulously considered the railway projects presented to him. Despite the negative convictions that such a large investment cannot be achieved with the financial and technical facilities available to the majority of the specialized owners and the state, “the honor of God’s Almighty and the resul-i Ekrem SAV ”Will give orders.

The reasons for the construction of the Hejaz railways can be listed clearly as follows;
1- Religious reasons; Ottoman history constitutes an important period of Islamic history. The Ottoman state is also an important member of the historical Islamic states. Therefore, religion has a special place in the Ottoman Empire. The existence of a powerful state and a strong sultan is important for this. In addition to the safety of life and property of the subjects, it is necessary to ensure the security of religion.

The mission of guarding religion was seen in the forefront of the Ottoman Empire. The theoretical justification was based on the preservation of religion and religious endeavour. When the Portuguese occupied India, the pre-naming of the Suez Canal project, which would enable the Ottoman fleet to be opened to Suez for the retreat of the Ottoman Navy, was to cut the roads of the Muslims who came to visit Haremeyn-i Şerifeyn from India, and moreover, it would not be possible for Muslims to be in the throne of the infidels.

The importance attributed to the Hejaz railways was also due to this. The preservation of the important towns of religion, the living of the people living in the emperor, the rise of welfare levels, the security of the pilgrimage road and facilitating the pilgrimage journey, the power of the state to reach these places more effectively made the Hejaz railways important.

The purpose of the construction of the Hejaz Railway was explained as facilitating the pilgrimage to public play. Considering the pilgrimage that lasts for months, the importance of the Hijaz Railway for Muslims is better understood. For example, a person departing from Damascus for the pilgrimage to Medina about 40 a day, 50 day was reaching Mecca. During this long journey, infectious diseases, water shortage, occasional bedouin attacks and travel expenses increased the difficulties of pilgrimage. This long and tedious pilgrimage journey from the Hejaz Railway would bring the round-trip 8 to the day. If the daily worship time of the 10 was added to it, the pilgrimage would be made within the 18 days. Moreover, the cost of pilgrimage would be reduced and more Muslims would be able to fulfill the pilgrimage. Again, the Hijaz Railway would be connected to Jeddah with a branch line and the other pilgrims who came to the holy land from different countries of the world would be moved to Mecca and Medina.

Hijaz Railway to facilitate the pilgrimage journey, to increase the number of arrival to the pilgrimage II. It will strengthen Abdulhamid’s prestige in the Islamic world. Abdülhamid’s commitment to the Ottoman caliphate would increase, and the bonds of brotherhood of Muslims would be strengthened.

2- Military and political reasons; Another important reason for the construction of the Hejaz Railway was military and political. The Ottoman Empire had to be strong in the region. Because the influence of the state in the holy land with the decline of the state’s reputation and trust before Muslims would be deeply shaken. This was clearly stated in the reports and layouts submitted to Sultan Abdulhamid II.

Arabia, 19. In the seventeenth century, Europe had become the focus of attention of the European states. The British resorted to various ways to penetrate the region, with influential local leaders and notables, with the Mecca sheriffs and the Bedouin tribes. These contacts were the result of the UK’s long-term plan for the region. On the one hand, the British were selling weapons to the urbans on the shores of Yemen and the Hejaz. On the other hand, they were making Christian propaganda with the missionaries sent to the Hejaz region in the guise of doctors, teachers or engineers, and they were distributing brochures that the Ottoman caliphate was not legitimate. The newspapers and journals broadcasting in the form of the fact that they were the real owners of the caliphate of Mecca were published by the British.

When the British took control of the Suez Canal, they decided that they would not allow another state to rule in the Red Sea and Aden Bay, settled in Cyprus, and then occupied Egypt, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda, capturing Aden in the early days of 1839. Their footing in Yemen posed a threat to the future of the Arabian peninsula, particularly in Yemen and Hijaz.

The British were sending agents to the region in order to turn the Yemenis against the Ottomans. They were trying to do so in Yemen by aiming to undertake a ı government-per- sonal ini under their influence and then to carry out their plans in the Hejaz continent.

The same expansionist activities were carried out in and around Basra. Many tribal sheikhs, especially the Ibn Saud dynasty, struggling in central Arabia, were supported by the British. In the Najd region of England, instead of a strong Ottoman domination, he preferred the establishment of a Vehhâbi power.

Sultan II. Abdulhamid was trying to resist the expansionist policies of European states, especially Britain, against the expansionist attempts of the Ottoman Empire. For this purpose, religious scholars and special representatives were sent to various places where the Muslim population lived. There were representatives from China, Japan, Malaysia, India, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Bukhara and Caucasus. The sects within the politics of the Islamic Union had a special place. Members of the religious order, such as Sayyid, sheikh and dervish, were given important duties. E.g; He served as a bridge between the Muslims of Russia and the Caliphate. In the same way, they were working as voyagers in Asia and dervishes as propagandists of Islamic politics.

II. Abdulhamid was going to implement the same policy in the Arabian Peninsula. Because this region, where the holy places were located, was more important than any other state in the eyes of the sultan. During his reign, he restored his former power and splendour to Islam. kazan. The value of the region was indisputable for a sultan and the caliph of the Islamic world who aimed to The influence of a caliph who could not dominate Arabia would also disappear. Being aware of this, Sultan II. Abdulhamid tended to establish sincere friendships with local leaders and people living in various parts of the Arabian peninsula and achieved some success in this regard.

However, more ambitious measures had to be taken against European states. Because the Hijaz region and the Red Sea coasts should be taken to prevent the loss of effective defense measures. The holding of the Hejaz and its environs was once more important after the British controlled the Suez Canal. This channel allowed the British to control the region. In fact, the Ottoman Hijaz and Yemen even sent military troops with the Suez channel. In any case, the closure of the Suez canal, the Ottomans were in contact with the Hijaz and Yemen. When the Hejaz line was completed, the Suez Canal would be eliminated in this sense, and it would be connected to Istanbul, Mecca and Medina by rails.

The construction of the line had an important function against the attacks coming from outside and would help to take control of the Hejaz in the military.

According to the consular reports 20. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Ottoman domination was weakened except in the Hijaz and Yemen. Since the Hijaz line would facilitate the dispatch of soldiers and materials, it would change the balance of forces in the region against the Ottomans, break the influence of the local forces and strengthen the political and military authority. In this way, the centre would be able to effectively control the remote provinces. Ottoman sovereignty could be taken to Middle Arabia through this line.

On the other hand, the negative propaganda of the UK’s pilgrimage road was unsafe. The Hijaz line would be a source of morale for the Ottomans and Muslims.

3- Economic reasons; The Hejaz line would have an important function in the economic development of the region. The natural resources of the places where the line passes kazan would become possible. It was calculated that significant savings would be achieved if the military shipment from the Suez Canal was shifted to the Hejaz line. In addition, it was predicted that if the line was built, it would lead to the economic development of the Syrian region and the Hejaz in the long run, and to increase the commercial circulation. The number of pilgrims and visitors, which was expected to increase greatly with the commissioning of the line, would expand the trade volume of Mecca and Medina. The money left by the pilgrims was important for the people of the Hejaz as much as the railway management.

In the case of construction of the line, significant revenue would be provided from the grain and the goods transport. There would be employment and commercial opportunities for the people living on the route of the line. Also in the vast lands between Mecca and Medina agricultural production was to be encouraged. Due to the inadequacy and cost of the transport vehicles, it would be possible to transport the products that could not be delivered to the distant markets to the remote markets with the cheap and fast transportation of the railway. When the line was connected to the Red Sea with a branch line in the future, its commercial and economic function would increase. The realization of this plan meant the conversion of Arabia, Anatolia and Hind trade from Suez to the Hejaz Railway.

It was also suggested that the Hejaz Railway would facilitate mineral exploration in Arabia, lead to the establishment of small-scale industrial plants, positively affect livestock farming, encourage settlement and increase population. It was also thought that the Bedouin’s relations with the modern world would increase.


In the Islamic world: The Hejaz Railway project has attracted great publicity and has been welcomed with great pleasure and enthusiasm in both the Ottoman and the whole Islamic world and has been considered as the most prosperous investment of the century.

The newspapers of the period published news about the project almost every day and attracted the attention of the public. The importance and the material and moral benefits of the Hejaz Railway were explained. İkdam newspaper, 3 May 1900 dated in the Hijaz Railway, the spirit of the Prophet was presented as a work that would please the spirit. Sabah newspaper said that the Hijaz Railway would facilitate pilgrimage. Thanks to the Hejaz Railway, the number of pilgrims would reach five hundred thousand. This line was worthy and sacred enough to make the Muslims thank the Muslims. Such an auspicious project should be supported by all Muslims. Sultan II. Because of this decision, Abdulhamid was praised as ”The Age of Sultan ef, ter Efzunter, Abd and ş Shaykhah ş.

Hicaz Railway

The Hejaz Railway project has been widely accepted in the whole Islamic world. Indian Muslims, Moroccan, Egyptian, Russian, Indonesian and many other Muslims would show their satisfaction with the construction of the Hejaz Railway. The Al-Raid al-Mimiss newspaper in Egypt wrote that the Hejaz Railway was the Suez Canal of the Muslim world.

In Western countries: The Hejaz Railway project had a great impact in the Islamic world, but was not taken seriously in Europe at first. According to Westerners, it was not possible for the Ottomans to realize such a big project. According to them, the Ottomans had neither the financial power nor the technical means for this project. The British did not see the Ottomans capable of building the line. According to them, the aim of the Ottomans was to collect donations. The French were also of the same opinion; It was mentioned as a paniclamic utopia that could not be realized from the Hejaz Railway.


The total cost of the Hejaz Railway was estimated at 4 million pounds in the first stage. This amount exceeded the 1901 of 18 in the Ottoman state budget. It was impossible to allocate an additional allowance from the budget. In these years, foreign debts continued to be paid, army expenses were increasing and Russia was paid war compensation due to the 93 war. Due to financial instability, the budget was open and due to shortage of resources, civil servant salaries could not be paid regularly. Moreover, there was no capital accumulation to realize this giant project.

In order to realize the Hejaz Railway project, it was necessary to find new sources of funding outside the budget. As the Hejaz Railway was to be the joint work and pride of not only Ottomans but all Muslims, it was decided to cover the expenses of construction with the donations to be collected from the Muslims first. Ziraat Bank would receive a loan for the urgent needs of the construction of the Hejaz Railway. However, in the face of new needs and shortage of cash after the commencement of the construction, new resources will be put into use by understanding that this large investment cannot be made only with limited bank loans and donations. Cuts from civil servant salaries; official papers and documents were sold for the benefit of the railway; stamps and postcards were removed; money from the sale of sacrificial leather was transferred to the railway fund; revenues from the rial exchange were allocated. In order to generate income for the Hicaz Railway commission, the operating or operating privileges of many coal and iron mines were also given. Later, when the Hejaz Railway arrived at Maan in 460 km from Damascus, the operating revenues of the transportation between Damascus and Maan-Haifa were reserved for the incomplete part of the line.

Hejaz Railway
Hejaz Railway

Donations from the Islamic world were made for the Hijaz Railway. At the beginning, all the government and all sections of the society were donated. Donations from the Sultan and his entourage, Ottoman statesmen, bureaucrats, provinces, custody and other official institutions, army and security officers, ilmiye class, justice, education and health personnel, as well as donations from men and women, small and large people by almost all ages. It was made. The cult satans and spiritual leaders were included in the donation. Thanks to the donation propaganda, aid was provided from all corners of the country. The newspapers were telling the importance of the project every day, and some were collecting donations.

Apart from the Ottoman borders, the countries and regions where Muslims lived were encouraged to donate by the shahbender. Important help came from India, Egypt, Russia and Morocco. In addition, donations were made from Tunisia, Algeria, Ümid Cape, South Africa, Iran, Singapore, Javanese, China, Sudan, America, Cyprus, Balkans, England, Vienna, France and Germany. Those who contributed to the Hijaz Railway were being rewarded with various medals.

The contribution of Indian Muslims in the Hejaz Railway project is truly admirable. On the basis of these contributions II. During the reign of Abdulhamid, the work of the Muslims of India and the result of these studies had an important role for the Ottoman Caliphate. The support of Indian Muslims to the Hijaz Railway started in 1900 and continued until 1908 where the line reached Medina. He was cut like a knife by abdication of Abdulhamid. Muhammad İnşaallah 1909, a great supporter of the Hejaz Railway project in India, wrote in August that he would lose the reverence and conversations of the Muslims living outside the Ottoman lands if he did not explain the true causes of the destruction they made against the Union and Progress Society.

Sultan II. While Abdulhamid did not hesitate to accept the donations made by some non-Muslim Ottoman citizens and Europeans except for the Muslims, it is interesting that he did not collect aid vouchers from Zionist societies abroad and showed his sensitivity about Zionism.

When we evaluate the sources of income, we come across a table. The sum of the revenues obtained from 1900-1908 was 3.919.696 lira. The percentage of donations in this total was about 29. When the money provided from the victim’s skin is added to the donations, this rate reaches% 34. 1902 of 82 year was composed of% 22 of donations. The donations are% 12 with the official paper and paperwork in the form of ilmühaber, with the rate of% 10 Ziraat Bank credit, the share of the treasury with the share of rials from the exchange rate of% 1900, deductions from civil servant salaries, taxes and fees, operation revenues were followed by revenue from victim skins. Thanks to successful financial management, revenues from 1909-XNUMX have been higher than the expenses of each year.


Construction work was carried out by commissions. Founded on 2 May 1900, the Commission was made up of members working under the leadership of the sultan. The Commission was the centre and authority of all affairs. In addition to this commission, the commission of Damascus, Beirut and Haifa commissions were also established.

The majority of the staff working in the construction of the Hejaz Railway was domestic. Very few foreign personnel were employed. In addition, measures were taken to train engineers, technicians and management officers to be employed in the Hejaz Railway. The maximum use of the soldiers in construction. Thousands of soldiers were employed in the Hejaz Railway construction. The technical material for the Hejaz Railway was imported from Europe and America.

2 May 1900 After the will of the Hejaz Railway, preparations for the Hejaz Railway have been started, and although there are various views on the determination of the railway route, it was decided to carry the Hejaz line along the historical pilgrimage route at the request of the Sultan. The line was to be extended from Damascus to Meke. Later, from Mecca to Jeddah, it was thought that it would be lowered to the Gulf of Aqaba and then extended from Mecca to Yemen and from Medina to Baghdad in the direction of Najd. In addition, it was conceived to build branches in Cebel-i Düruz, Aclun and Jerusalem.

According to the plan, the construction will start between Damascus and Maan-Madinah. In the meantime, with the idea of ​​preventing non-Muslim Ottoman citizens from ennobling colonization in the vicinity of the Hejaz Railway, no one other than the Muslims would be allowed to seek settlement and mining in the region, and the previously issued mining licenses would be cancelled.

The Hijaz Railway was actually launched in 1 on September 1900 in Damascus with an official ceremony. 1 1904 line in September 460. reached Maan in kilometres. The Haifa line, which will ensure the connection of the Hejaz Railway to the Mediterranean, ended in September at 1905.

hicaz rail

In the meantime, he had the idea of ​​connecting the Hejaz Railway to the Gulf of Aqaba with a branch line between Maan and Aqaba. With this line, the money paid for the shipment to the Suez Canal company will be kept in the treasury, and all the military and civil transport will be carried out by the Hejaz Railway in the future. The efficiency of the Ottoman Empire in the Hejaz, Red Sea and Yemen would increase thanks to the convenience to be provided in the dispatch of weapons and soldiers.
The British reacted violently to the idea of ​​connecting the Hejaz Railway to the Gulf of Aqaba with a branch line. At the time of the preparations for this line, the Egyptians moved into the Sinai Peninsula of Aqaba, where they moved the Egyptians to establish police stations. The Ottomans claimed that Aqaba was a part of the Hejaz. As a result of the intense pressure of the British Aqaba railway project was abandoned. The British intention was to keep the Ottomans away from the Red Sea and Suez.

The Hicaz line reached the 1906 by 750. 1 September 1906’den Maan-Tebuk 233 km, and a year later the 288-km-T-Bum-el-Ulâ part was completed. Al-Ulâ was also the starting point of the holy land, which was forbidden for non-Muslims to set foot. For this reason, the El-Ula-Medina line of the 323 kilometer was built by Muslim engineers, contractors, technicians and soldiers. As the line approached Medina, the violent opposition and attacks of the tribes in the region began. Finally, this chapter was completed in 31 on July 1908, and was officially commissioned by the Hijaz Railway at an official ceremony on 1 September 1908.

During the construction of the railway, many bridges, tunnels, stations, ponds, factories and various buildings were built. For example, small large 2666 masonry bridges and culverts, 7 ponds, 7 iron bridges, 9 tunnels, Haifa, Der’a and Maan’da 3 factory, locomotives and wagons were repaired a large factory was built. In addition, a repair shop in the Medina station, a pier in Haifa, a large station, anbar, foundry, workers’ buildings, pipeline and business building, a hotel in maan, a hospital in Tebuk and Maan, 37 water tank was built.


The total cost of the line, which reached 161 kilometres together with the 1464 km Haifa line of the Hejaz Railway, had reached 3.066.167 liras. With another calculation, it had reached 3.456.926 liras. This cost of the line was cheaper than the railways built by European companies in Ottoman lands. This cheapness was due to workers’ wages.

Most of the expenses related to the Hejaz Railway went to the material brought from abroad. Another significant portion of the costs belonged to the construction costs, the salaries of engineers and technical staff in Syria, and the wages and bonuses given to the Operation battalions.


After the opening of the Hejaz Railway, between Haifa and Damascus, each day, between Damascus and Medina three days a week, the passenger and the merchandise were working. During the pilgrimage season, three other mutations were held between him and Damascus until the end of the Safer month. Only for the pilgrimage period, only one ticket was required.

Before the Damascus-Medina route with camels in the 40 day, while the same distance with the Hijaz Railway 72 hours (3 days) had landed. Moreover, the movement hours were arranged in accordance with the prayer times, the trains were kept in the stations until the passengers were ready to make prayers were provided great convenience. Those who wanted to make their prayers in the mosque wagon. In 1909 there was an officer who was muezzin on the same wagon in five days of the day. An application started from 1911 and organized special train services on religious and national holidays. For example, the days of Mevlid-i Nebevi in ​​Medina, which was quite cheap Mevlid trains departed. In addition, wagons were arranged in such a way that Muslim families could travel easily.


II. Hejaz Railway will also be affected by the political developments after the Constitutional Monarchy. Many high-ranking officers working on the line were dismissed, experience in railway works. kazanThe officers who had served in the 5th Army were included in the XNUMXth Army and regimental officers removed from Yıldız were brought to the vacated places. In addition, the naval soldiers in Haifa, who had been employed for years, were withdrawn, the officers of the movement were dismissed, while many officers resigned of their own accord. A sufficient number of engineers and operating officers could not be found for the Hejaz line. Searches for civil servants began with newspaper advertisements. Due to the lack of experienced personnel in the first years of the Constitutional Monarchy, Europeans had to be employed in various parts of the railway.

II. In the post-constitutional period, the administrative structure of the Hejaz Railway was changed. The name Hamidiye-Hicaz Railway was called Hicaz Railway. Over the course of time, many changes were made in the administration of the railway. After the commissions before the railway administration was attached to Harbiye, Evkaf, and direct loyalty. With the beginning of World War I, all the railways were allocated for military transportation.

ottoman hijaz railway map

II. After Abdulhamid’s state, some branch lines were built. First, the starting point of the line at 1911 was brought to the centre of Damascus. The subway lines of the Jerusalem branch opened. During World War I, railway construction continued and military lines were built. These were the lines of the Egyptian branch of the Hejaz Railway.
These lines, which were built on the Palestinian territories of Syria under the Hejaz Railway, were carried out despite the opposition of the French. The French have voiced their concerns about the railroad to Cavid Bey, who went to Paris for the purpose of securing the 1913; In return for the debt to be given to the Ottoman Empire in Syria and Palestine, strictly stopped the construction of the railway and stopped the need to stop immediately. The French also wanted the concessions to be given in the Ottoman lands, including the work of the Hejaz Railway, to be given to them.

Along with other secondary lines, the length of the Hijaz Railway at 1918 exceeded the 1900 kilometre.
It was originally planned to extend the Hejaz Railway to Mecca and to be connected to it seriously. The Medina-Mecca-Jeddah railway line was of great importance for the Ottoman State. Hicaz Railway was able to reach the destination with the construction of this line. The construction of this line would increase the influence and reputation of the Ottoman State in the Islamic world. The greatest wish of the Muslims who donated from the Islamic countries to the Hejaz Railway was to complete the lines of Jeddah and Mecca. The 12-day road taken with the camels between the two holy cities would be reduced to 24 hours by train. Thus, the number of pilgrims coming to the region would increase.

The Medina-Mecca-Jeddah lines were of political and military importance as well as religious. First of all, it was possible to effectively convey the authority of the state to these areas. However, this line was to be greeted with the opposition of the Emir of Mecca, Sharif Ali Pasha, the Hijaz Governor Ahmet Ratip Pasha and the Bedouin tribes. This opposition of the Pashas II. The opposition of the Bedouin persisted, even though the constitution was abolished. However, the line that was decided to start was not started because of the war in Tripoli and the Balkans. The project was suspended. Again, the conception of extension of the Hejaz Railway to Yemen, Suez, Najd and Iraq remained inconclusive.

The beginning of the end in Hicaz railway

During the First World War, the Hijaz Railway began to suffer serious problems. The railway is closed to civilian transportation due to war, and the ban on pilgrimage for the same reasons leads to economic problems in the Hejaz. Commercial activities are significantly reduced. Increased shipment through the Hejaz Railway during the war has made material procurement more difficult.

More importantly, the rebellion of Sharif Hüseyin, the Emir of Mecca, will bring the end of the Hejaz Railway. Şerif Hüseyin did not look warmly at projects that would reduce his influence in the region, he was secretly opposed to the construction of the Mecca-Jeddah line. After seeing the heavy economic and political picture that the Ottoman Empire had fallen into after the Balkan and Tripoli wars, Sherif Huseyin began to pursue bigger goals that would ultimately lead to independence. For the first time, he contacted the British in 1912 through his son Abdullah. Sheriff Hussein’s pursuit of the establishment of the Arab empire. He needed strong support from the outside. Sheriff Huseyin was considering reaching an agreement with England and reaching his goal with the support of this state. Hussein spread the border of the Arab empire he established, to the Taurus in the north, the Ottoman-Iranian border in the east, and the Gulf of Basra, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea in the west, and the Arabian sea except Aden in the south.

Sheriff Hussein agreed with the British. According to the agreement, if he rebelled against the Ottomans, he would be given money, weapons, ammunition and food supplies, and the establishment of an independent Arab state at the end of the war. The Ottoman Empire could not imagine that Sheriff Hussein would rebel.
1916 Sheriff Hussein, who masterly staged the Ottoman Empire until June, rebelled in June 1916. On this date Jeddah, Mecca in July, September in the hands of the rebels Taif passed. With the revolt of Sharif, a front in the Hejaz was opened against the Palestinian and Sinai fronts, and the security of the Hejaz Railway became prominent.

hicaz railways

One of the tools used in the Hejaz rebellion was to sabotage the railway lines. Although the Ottoman Empire established a protection army consisting of thousands of soldiers for the security of the line, it was not successful. The sabotage and attacks of the Bedouins were organized by the British. Rather than destroying the Ottoman forces on the Lawrence Hejaz Railway, he found it more rational to destroy the rails and locomotives.

As a matter of fact, on March 26, 1918, after the mail train coming from the north, no other train could come to Medina, and the last train sent from Medina to the north would not be able to pass up Tabuk. By October 1918, all Arab lands, except Medina, had fallen into enemy hands. On October 30, 1918, with the 16th article of the Armistice of Mudros, which registered the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, all the Ottoman guard troops in Hejaz, Asir, Yemen, Syria and Iraq were ordered to be handed over to the closest Allied Commands. Thus, the Ottoman Empire’s contact with the Arabian lands was cut off along with the Hejaz Railway.


Military and political consequences; The military benefits of the line began to appear immediately after the completion of the Damascus-Maan section at 1904. In Yemen, the rebellion initiated by Imam Yahya was seen with a railway from Syria, which was supported by heavy weapons and transported by a railroad to Maan. The 12 between Damascus and Maan covered by 24 once a day was covered by rail.

With the opening of the whole of the Hijaz Railway, it began to serve wider military purposes. In 1914, the number of soldiers transported by rail under the influence of World War I increased rapidly and reached 147.587. In addition to the military shipments, the military ammunition was also transported by rail. The Hejaz Railway has reduced dependence on Suez.

Thanks to the Hejaz Railway, the dominance of the Ottoman Empire in the region kazanwas. Revolts that took place from time to time in the region were suppressed by the railway. While the Ottoman domination, together with the railway, affected a large area in southern Syria, it was effective in a limited area and mostly along the line in the Hejaz. The same activity was not in question in places far from the line.

The most obvious political change that the Hijaz Railway caused in the region was seen in Medina. Thanks to the Hijaz Railway and the telegraph line, direct communication and contact between Istanbul and Medina was established and official correspondence between the region and the centre was started with the Medina Guard. As the political importance of the city increased with this development, 2 left the Hijaz Province of Medina in June 1910 and was connected directly to the Ministry of Internal Affairs with the status of non-informal informants. After the 1908 in the city, two schools, the local branch of the Union and Progress Party of 1, were established. In the 1913, the foundation of a higher education institution was called X Medrese-i külliye ‘by the state and it was opened to teaching at 1914. Around Medina, a mosque was built in the name of the sultan, as the Ayn-ı Zerka Water was poured into the city through iron pipes. Harem-i-Sharif was enlightened by electricity. Studies on the reform of the 1911 in Medina were initiated.

Surrets started to be transported by rail. Harameyn had reached the Medina through the last surre Hejaz line to the people. The governor and other officials assigned to the Hejaz were using the railway. Even if the Suez Canal was closed in a possible war, the connection with the Hejaz would not be interrupted by rail. As a result of the closure of the Suez Canal to Ottoman ships during World War I years, the railway provided great services. All of the military shipments from the 4.Ordu in Syria to Palestine and Palestine fronts were carried out through the Hejaz Railway. The Hejaz Railway 1914-18 has taken on a vital role in the transport of grain as well as the shipment of troops. A rebellion that would break out in the Hejaz region made it possible to quickly and effectively suppress the railroad with the ease of transport and logistical support facilities.
The importance of the railroad increased with the revolt of Sheriff Hussein in 1916. The Hijaz line became the lifeblood of Medina after Mecca, Jeddah, and Taif were in the hands of the rebels. The connection of Medina to the north was provided by rail and Hicaz line had a significant share in the fact that the city could not be reduced to 1919. 1917 40.000 people and sacred relics in the city were transferred to Damascus in March due to the shortage of the system in Medina.
Socio-economic consequences of the Hejaz Railway; The Hijaz line has brought vitality to the region’s economy despite all its lack. In 1910, for example, a total of 65.757 tons of goods were transported and this amount increased in the coming years. The railway was used for the transportation of commercial goods as well as for the transportation of live animals.

The impact of the railway on residential areas was more evident in the areas suitable for agriculture. Trade with railways has reached the highest points in the agricultural areas of Palestine and Syria. The Hejaz Railway had a significant impact on the development of some cities in the Syrian region. Damascus has become Syria’s largest settlement. 1 / 3 of passenger and goods revenues from the line is provided here. The Hejaz line brought vitality to the commercial life of the city of Damascus. Exports and imports of 100.000 tonnes from Damascus were made by rail.

The Hijaz line drew a rising graph in civilian passenger transport. 1910 in 168.448, 1914 in 213.071 has been moved. The civilian soldier was 1910 in the total 246.109 and 1914 in the 360.658. The Hejaz Railway went to profit between 1910-14. In 1915 he suffered losses with the closure of civilian transport. The main sources of income of the Hijaz Railway were passenger and cargo transportation revenues.

Haifa has become an export and import port thanks to the railway. The total export of Haifa port, the only gate of the Hejaz Railway to the Mediterranean, was 1907 at 270.000 and 1912 at 340.000. In 1904, the 296.855 ton increased to 1913 in 808.763. While Haifa is a small settlement center, its population has increased rapidly and it has attracted the attention of foreign merchants and investors, especially Germans.

The Hejaz Railway has also contributed significantly to the development of regional tourism. Special trains were organized for children who wanted to visit some holy places in Palestine. On the other hand, cheap trains were removed from Haifa and Damascus to Medina during the days of random blessings in order to revive domestic tourism. These expeditions attracted great interest. However, the contribution of the Hejaz Railway to tourism remained limited.

The effect of the railroad on socio-economic change was different depending on the error proximity and distance of the settlements. Settlements along the railway have improved. Imports of towns and villages in the inner parts were higher than exports, while there was an improvement in the vicinity of the stations. In particular, the production of grain products increased. The railway encouraged producers to move their grain products to remote markets. For example, the export of wheat from Havran to Haifa has doubled between 1903-1910. The railway has also lowered the prices of goods imported into the region. Thus, the fruits and vegetables brought from Damascus could be sold in Medina with the prices of Damascus.

Along with the construction of the Hejaz Railway, new villages were built with the strategic and economic considerations of the settlements in Amman and the surrounding areas. These immigrants, who were settled in the neighbourhoods close to the railway route, on the one hand, became a balance element in favour of the Ottoman State by narrowing the freedom of movement of the Bedouin in the region, and on the other hand played an important role in the preservation of the line and the development of the region. Due to the Chechen and Circassian immigrants who were dispatched to the east of Amman between the 1901-1906 and encouraged to settle along the line, the lands around Amman began to be planted.

The benefits of the Hejaz Railway to the Bedouins were limited. The Bedouins were receiving allowances from the state to protect the line. This practice curbed the tribes’ desire to attack the railroad. Another benefit is the sale of meat, milk and cheese to employees. kazan. It was their money. The Bedouins also had income from the camels they rented to the railway supervision and construction contractors.

Hicaz Railway, along with the construction sector, has also led to the development of the railway sub-industry. Other than railway facilities, numerous formal and special buildings were built.
The Hejaz Railway was also used extensively by the Ottoman posts. The Hijaz telegraph line has been widely used, since it provides significant facilities for formal and civil communication.

The Hejaz Railway provided the training of many railway engineers, technicians, telegraphers, machinists, operators and civil servants. Experience in railways kazanAt that time, the soldiers started to work as civilians in the following years. In some schools that provide technical education, skid steer lessons were introduced. Practice and experience of newly graduated engineers on the Hijaz line kazan goods were provided. Engineers and students were sent abroad for higher education and specialization.

The railway for military technicians was a training stove. During World War I, when the Ottoman State was confiscated by foreign companies, technical staff and personnel were not shortened.

More importantly, the first railway technical staff of the Republican period also experienced in the Hejaz railway. kazan people would form.

Religious results; The greatest religious service of the Hejaz Railway was the extraordinary travel ease provided by Muslims using the route of Damascus-Medina. 40 with camel caravans, the 3 day vacated by train from Damascus to Medina. It was more conducive to the Muslim pilgrimage. Above all, the pilgrims were saved from the Bedouin attacks between Damascus and Medina. The 1909 pilgrim was traveling by train in 15000. 1911 96.924 from Hijaz in 13.102 used the railway in Medina on arrival. The rest of the sea from the port of Jeddah because they could not benefit from the Hijaz line. Pilgrims who came to the Hijaz by sea had the trouble of not taking advantage of the railway. In particular, the Muslims of India expressed their desire for the excitement of the line and were ready to help.

Despite all these shortcomings, the railway had aroused great flows in the Islamic world. II. He strengthened the prestige of Abdulhamid. The influence of the caliph was so high that in the case of Abdulhamid in 1909, there was a great shock in India, and the aid to the Hejaz Railway was stopped. II. The Hijaz line identified with Abdülhamid had received wide acceptance and attention in public, and Muslims managed to create a unity of solidarity and unity around the project.

The project has become a common goal and ideal of the Islamic world since the first day. From the highest level of bureaucrats to the most simple Muslim, thousands of people ran to help. Voluntary iane committees were established. For months, the press has always treated the importance and sanctity of the Hijaz Railway. There was great enthusiasm in the Islamic world to mark the arrival of the line to Medina.

The Hejaz Railway was extremely effective in renewing the self-confidence of the Muslims and showed that Muslims also have the knowledge and technical ability to achieve great things. Under the leadership of the Ottoman Empire kazanThis success, which was announced, set an example of what Muslims can do if they are well organized. He played a great role in the formation of Muslims’ awareness of cooperation and solidarity around a common ideal.

Hülasa, Hijaz Railway Project, Sultan II. Abdulhamid’s first military, political and religious goals, second-degree economic objectives were taken into consideration. The Hijaz Railways, as a half-life of the Ottomans, even though they have been short-lived, have become history.