Osmaneli, formerly known as Lefke, is a town (pop.~13,000) in Eastern Marmara; nestled in the valley of Sakarya River which connects northwestern Central Anatolia with the Black Sea coast.
The town is divided by the highway D650 in two parts: Upper part leaning against a hillside is the old town, while the lower part across the highway is newer, but still mostly low-rise.
Osmaneli has a train station in the newer part of the town, about 30 minutes away on foot from town centre/old town. Most long-distance trains from Istanbul heading for central and eastern parts of the country call at Osmaneli, on various times of the day. Only fastest trains operating between Istanbul and Ankara, such as Başkent or Cumhuriyet Express, passes by the station without a halt.
Boarding the train from Osmaneli
Osmaneli train station is staffed only between 8:30AM-noon and 1PM-5PM. Although normally you should pay an extra fine in addition to the fare if you board a train without a ticket in Turkey, in Osmaneli station, it is explicitly explained that all you have to pay is the normal ticket price to the conductor inside the train when boarding a train calling at the station on non-staffed hours. So don’t worry if you see the ticket window completely locked up when arrived at the station. However, have some cash in Turkish Lira with you, as the conductor will not be able to process credit cards or foreign currency.
If you are heading for Istanbul and intend to take trains coming from eastern Turkey, such as Doğu or Güney Express – which are also the cheapest options, expect them to be late for several hours.
Osmaneli is located on highway D650, which lies between Adapazari and Bilecik, and eventually connecting Istanbul with the southern city of Antalya. From Istanbul, take D100 or O-4/E80 (motorway/toll-road) east first, then in Adapazari, quit the motorway and head south via D650.
- Traditional architecture. Old town is full of white-washed two-story houses which maintain traditional Ottoman architecture. A brief stroll deep in old town will reveal many details to architecture enthusiasts. edit
- Church (Kilise), (on the top of the hill overlooking old town, walk towards the streets to your left side after entering a bit deep into the old town). Built in late 1800s by a Hungarian architect after the whole town burnt down in a big fire, this church has been in disuse since 1920s, when the Greek community of the town left for Greece when a population swap was mandated between Greece and Turkey. Not cared for since then, it now ironically looks like a fire victim, although that is not the situation, as its all wooden parts such as the gate, windows, and the roof are gone, although its stone structure is still as splendid as it used to be, with crosses still visible here and there. Although it was built for the Greek Orthodox, it more resembles Protestant cathedrals of Central Europe, presumably because of the origin of its builder. There is a talk of converting it into a cultural centre for the town. edit
- Dia, (on the corner of the highway and the street which is the main entrance of old town). 10AM-9PM. National supermarket chain Dia has a store in Osmaneli, where you can find bottled water, soft and alcoholic beverages, snacks, and fresh fruit on a discounted rate. Credit cards are accepted. edit
The telephone code of the town is (+90) 228.
- İznik, another historical town in the region, is about 30 km to west from Osmaneli. Six minibus services every day, with two-hour intervals between 8:30AM-6:30PM connect the town with İznik.