Taksim means “division” which situated in the European part of Istanbul. During the Ottoman Period, a stone reservoir had been built up here to collect the water from northern part of Istanbul and branch off to other parts of the city. The square had taken the name from Taksim Maksemi (cistern). Before becoming a square, it was a small area where old houses lined up. After having a square and enlarged, it got the present view. Around of Republican Monument in Taksim Square has been used as a Ceremonial Square during the National Feasts and also is the main meeting point for tourist and natives. Republican Monument inaugurated in 1928 and commemorates the formation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, following the Turkish War of Independence. The Nostalgic Tram runs from Taksim Square to along the avenue, ending near Tunnel (Tunel),1875 which is second oldest subway line of the world after London’s Underground (1863). Around the Taksim Square, There are numerous hotels, restaurants, pubs, and international fast food chains like Pizza Hut and others.
It is also a favorite location for public events such as parades, New Year Celebrations or other social gatherings.
Istiklal Street (Independence Avenue)
Istiklal Street (Independence Avenue) is a long pedestrian shopping street which starts from near Tunnel to Taksim Square.
Taksim square and around it also are the huge centre of culture, night life and shopping. It has numerous shops, cinemas, theatres, art studios, exhibition halls, bars, discos, cafes. Especially, it is so dynamic with crowds 24 hours a day at the weekends. The buffets at the entrance of Istiklal Street are open along the day. Istiklal Street and around it carry on positive and negative specialties as heretofore, and carries the specialty as unexceptional most cosmopolitan area of Turkey. The street is like a huge shopping centre with the brands name which is very famous all over the world and local boutiques. I advise my guests all the time to go there for buying the local shoes. It is one of the main things to buy. For the shoes, international brand names like adidas, lacoste, or others can be more expensive than the western countries. But everybody must see the local products which you can find really good quality with reasonable prices.
Cukurcuma is one of the districts where to find the antiques in Beyoglu. Spend an afternoon in Cukurcuma where the antiques and neon rock-n-roll signs mix with sultan signed candelabras and mirrors lined with fading starlets. The area was once home to a large Greek community where is an old flea market in upscale café and gallery district. A lot of shop owners are descendents of non-Turkish residents whose families have inhabited the area for centuries. It is hosting over 150 antique shops. Some of the shops are bursting with Ottoman Period odds and ends and Turkish cultural memorabilia. Beside them, there are avant-garde art workshops and high fashion boutiques. Upon closer inspection, daring young designers are uniquely Turkish and have been creating a space, a chic, that is all their own. The antique legacy of the area shares the same snaky streets with the up- and-comers, revealing antique treasures and odd collectibles.