Ottoman-era boats return to Istanbul’s waters


$1m project sees classic craft return for tourism and transport on the Golden Horn

ISTANBUL – An almost $1-million dollar project has seen a fleet of Venice-style Ottoman-era historic boats take to the waters of Istanbul’s iconic Golden Horn.

Twenty boats, built by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and operated by their owners, were launched this week for both tourism and transportation on the primary inlet of the Bosphorus Strait.

‘Kancabas’ are ornate nostalgic boats used during the Ottoman Era for transportation, freight shipment and sometimes for troop dispatches on the Bosphorus.

Now they have restarted voyages on the Golden Horn’s waters touring between Feshane, Eyup, Teleferik, Miniaturk and Sutluce stops.

The 7.5 meter-long boats, adorned with gold leaf, resemble gondolas but do not work with paddles.

The six-passenger-capacity boats, which carry one steersman, work with electric motors and can travel at four nautical miles per hour.

The 20 boats are planned to be increased to 80 in number in the upcoming days, according to Istanbul municipality.

Along with six separate floating piers, the boats have cost nearly 2.6 million Turkish liras (around $940,000).

According to the municipality, a bridge to be dubbed ‘Leonardo’ is also expected to be built over some small uninhabited islands in the Golden Horn, opening them to pedestrian access.