World Bulletin / News Desk
A new tram line will be built near the Salıpazar cruise ship port to make it easy for cruise tourists to visit İstanbul's famous tourist destinations, including Sultanahmet Square, home to the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia.
The new tram line will connect the tourists to the current tram line, which stretches from Kabataş to Zeytinburnu, passing through the historical peninsula, Mustafa Demir, the mayor of İstanbul's Fatih Municipality, told the Anatolia news agency on Wednesday.
“The project is ready. We will have it ready in time for next year's tourism season,” Demir noted.
The mayor said ships bring with them thousands of people who visit the city for a short period of time. To ensure these visitors make the most of their short stay, he said the municipality had to improve transportation between the port and major landmarks.
A route was arranged this year for buses to carry cruise tourists to Sultanahmet Square upon a request from the Turkish Association of Travel Agents (TÜRSAB).
Sultanahmet Square will be made more visitor-friendly with a new, specially designed granite pavement project, Demir had earlier announced. He said the project will be completed within five months, before the start of next year's tourist season. The project will be carried out with funding from the İstanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency.
The tourist district was closed to vehicle traffic earlier this year as part of another project by the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Transportation Coordination Center (UKOME) to create more space and comfortable areas for visitors.
“There are currently eight different zones paved with eight different types of stone in the area, without any harmony between them,” said Demir, explaining the rationale behind the project.