Social Impact

Moonlight Nights

In the 1920s, the Ottoman Empire had experienced the years of the First World War and the Armistice during the collapse, and the struggle for the War of Independence had become the heroic epic in the whole country. Society experienced both excitement and fatigue, traces of both hope and war simultaneously.

In this table, the Bosphorus, which was moving away from its former glory days, was not popular enough in society. This situation also reduced the interest in the Şirket-i Hayriye steamers. Therefore, in order to increase the number of passengers transported to stop the decline in the number of passengers, the Şirket-i Hayriye officials decided to develop a series of measures and to demonstrate business practices. The moonlit trips, which have stretched from these applications to the present day, have become one of the unchanging colors of Istanbul history. Especially in the 1930s, the Moonlight Trips that brought new dimensions to entertainment and recreation in Istanbul and the other trips to the Bosphorus were unforgettable examples.
The Şirket-i Hayriye, with its moonlit Trips, had an important place in the daily culture of the people of Istanbul by offering examples of form and dimension that exceed the boundaries of an ordinary transportation enterprise. Moonlit Excursions continues to be organized by the City Lines in order to have a pleasant weekend in Istanbul.


Abdülhak Şinasi Hisar, who has witnessed the last moonlight worlds, described all the details of this type of entertainment of the Bosphorus in his works. These spheres were more extensive with the initiative of the Şirket-i Hayriye. By the mid-1930s, Administration of the Şirket-i Hayriye (Administration of The Hayriye) took action to revitalize the moonlightings in the Bosphorus.


The first of these realms was held on 4 August 1936 on Tuesday. It was decorated with flowers and a raft illuminated with colorful lights. In addition to a reed, a zeybek team had performed on this raft. The stars of the night were Hazım Körmükçü who was one of the important performers of Turkish Art Music, Denizkız Eftalya and City Theater actors.

While The Şirket-i Hayriye Administration was willing to keep the three boats ready to be used and to operate two ferries. Such a fun and cheap price, like 37.5 lira increased the demand of people and fourteen ferries were began to transport passengers.

In addition to the ferries turning around the raft used as the stage, the public joined the convoy with many boats. The navigation started from Bebek and extended to Kanlıca, Kanlıca to Yeniköy and from Yeniköy to Beykoz and Büyükdere.

Safiye Ayla and Şadi Işılay were among the stars who joined the worlds of the moonlight that won great appreciation and attention of the people of Istanbul.