The Silahtarağa Power Plant was the Ottoman Empire’s first urban-scale electrical power plant. Built at the mouth of the Kağıthane and Alibeyköy rivers at the tail-end of the Golden Horn, the power plant was Istanbul’s sole electricity provider from 1914 to 1952. Silahtarağa’s generating capacity reached a peak of 120,000 kilowatts in 1956, after which it gradually declined until the plant was decommissioned on 18 March 1983.
The Silahtarağa Power Plant sprawled over a 118,000 m² site comprising engine rooms with turbine generators, boiler rooms, management buildings, workers’ quarters and vast coal yards. It stands today as one of Turkey’s top industrial heritage sites.
Converting the Silahtarağa Power Plant into santralistanbul was a process that involved retaining as many of the original elements as possible. Work began in May 2004 and was completed in September 2007.
Brief History of the Silahtarağa Power Plant
Austro-Hungarian company Ganz wins the bid opened for the installation of a power station in İstanbul. Establishing the Ottoman Electric Company Inc., Ganz begins working.
The Silahtarağa Power Plant starts running. Electricity is first supplied to the tramway system and later to the European side of the city.
Electricity is supplied to the Anatolian side with the submarine cable installed between Arnavutköy and Vaniköy.
The state buys the Electric Company and puts it under the management of the İstanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel (İETT) Enterprises General Directorate. Until 1952, Silahtarağa remains the sole electricity provider of the city.
The Silahtarağa Power Plant is handed over to the Turkish Electrical Authority (TEK).
Having completed its economic life, the Silahtarağa Power Plant terminates production.
Work for the preservation and transformation of the Silahtarağa Power Plant into santralistanbul starts
santralistanbul, which is formed by preservation and reservation of Silahtarağa Power Plant, starts to serve as a centre for education, culture and arts