By Nazli Yuzbasioglu
The Turkish-funded restoration of a historic railway station in Jordan will help strengthen ties between Ankara and Amman, said the head of the Turkish agency carrying out the project on Thursday.
The restoration of the Jordanian Hejaz Railway Station "will contribute to relations between the two countries and also bind together the people of Turkey and Jordan," Serdar Cam, head of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), which is behind the project, said during his visit to the capital Amman.
Cam visited the Hejaz Railway Amman Station to observe the ongoing project -- signed in 2016 -- that includes building a museum for the historic railway, which will showcase pictures of how the historic line was built.
The Jordanian Hejaz Railway, which connects Damascus and Amman to Medina, Saudi Arabia, is a historic example of Ottoman creativity that made the spiritual journey easier for Muslim pilgrims.
The Hejaz railway line is one of the oldest in the region and indeed the world. It was built in 1902 during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, and it enabled pilgrims to drastically cut their travel time, from some three months to less than three days.
Cam said that vintage locomotives and other historical specimens were being preserved.
"I would like to thank you for preserving the historic character here," Cam added.
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