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  • Writer's pictureAleyna Koska

How the High Speed ​​Train Turned into an Archaeopark?

The construction works, which started three years ago to transform the historical Haydarpaşa Train Station into a high-speed train station, were stopped due to archaeological finds that emerged during the construction of the bridge.

The high-speed train construction area has been converted into an archaeological excavation site and these excavations have been going on for three years.

The construction project gained a new dimension with the discovery of the archaeological site, and this section of Haydarpaşa Train Station will be opened to the public as an 'Arkeopark' thanks to the finds.

During the three-year excavations, many archaeological finds from the Ottoman, Byzantine, Roman, Hellenistic and Republican periods were discovered.

British tombs and many skeletons and Roman coins were unearthed in the excavation area.

An archaeologist, who has been involved in the work since the beginning of the excavation and does not want her name to be mentioned in the news, drew attention to the archaeological background of the region and shared the following information:

‘’In fact, Yenikapı region in Istanbul is more known as an archaeological excavation site due to its cultural texture. However, since Kadıköy is very rich in terms of historical experience, it is not unexpected that the ruins were found while the construction was going to be done.'’

“Workers do not want to receive instructions from female archaeologists”

On the other hand, 13 archaeologists work in the Haydarpaşa Train Station archaeological site, 7 of which are women.

Women archaeologists draw attention to the increasing number of women archaeologists during excavations.

One of the female archaeologists we interviewed tells that a large part of the workers who do not want to receive instructions from women show resistance against female archaeologists who are in the position of chief in the field.

“In the past, the working area was divided into two as land and workshop. Women worked in the workshop and men worked in the field. There was a clear gender divide. Now that has changed, women can also work in the field, but when a woman gives instructions to fifty workers, at least forty of these workers do not want to listen to you.”

As employment is low, both interest and score are low.

Turkey is a rich country in terms of archaeological finds, however, archaeologists are one of the professional groups that have the most employment problems.

There are Archeology departments in 43 universities in Turkey, and students can be placed in this department with the lowest score of the faculties with equal weight points. Since the employment area is very limited, the demand for the department is low, so the base points are decreasing every day.

Intern Archaeologists Don't Get Salary

Today, archaeological excavations are subordinate to the Ministry of Culture. While universities used to allocate funds for such excavations, the funds with an upper limit of 20-30 thousand are null and void. Intern archaeologists work at the excavation site along with many workers, so the budget allocated is not enough for workers' salaries, and many trainee archaeologists have to work without receiving a salary.

Due to the scarcity of the budget allocated to archaeological projects, many projects cannot be realized, so academicians in universities are limited to providing scientific consultancy only.

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