The 12:45 PM, 17 August 2007, train east from Mersin to Yenice was the first leg of my journey to Istanbul. In between Tarsus and Adana, Yenice is less than an hour from Mersin. Although I had passed through the station in the vicinity of 100 times, I had never stopped there and admired its lovely Middle-Eastern architecture.
Yenice factoid: on 30 January 1943 Turkey’s then president Ismet Inonu and Britain’s prime minister Winston Churchill met at Yenice train station to discuss Turkey’s possible participation in World War II. Yenice train station has a large photo commemorating the two leaders meeting on its wall. After taking photos of the this and of the beautiful station building a train station official came up to me and asked (in Turkish) if I had permission to take photos. To take photos of Yenice train station (and, I imagine, any Turkish train station) one requires official authorisation. Needless to say, I didn’t have permission and so my photography was stopped in my tracks.
It was a hot day and eventually the “Icanadolu Mavi” (‘Central Anatolian Blue’) train arrived from Adana.
UPDATE: I don’t know if the official’s sensitivity about taking photos was in anyway related to the following interesting titbit from January 2003:
In a surprise development, 20 members of the 150-strong U.S. inspection team did ‘field work’ at the strategically – positioned Yenice train station in Mersin’s Tarsus county. They obtained information and took pictures and films at the station and the container storage facilities.
The U.S. military experts’ visit comes at a time the USA is trying to persuade Turkey to take part in a potential Iraq war. U.S. experts examined the station with a view to using it for shipments from Mersin to Baghdad in the course of an operation against Iraq. The USA intends to make use of the Mersin seaport and the railway to meet the needs of the troops it will be sending to the region. If Turkey takes part in the operation the Yenice train station will see a lot of action.