Nisantasi Today

Nisantasi is the place where you can find all brands, Turkish boutiques, nice cafes, restaurants and bars. It carries on to be both luxurious residential area with heavy traffic, activity, crowds and shopping place with luxurious shops, galleries, restaurants and elegant shop windows.

Nisantasi is an elite shopping district today. Also it is home for many famous creative types as and affluent, secular residential area. This area forms to several novels by Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk. He was the local resident of Nisantasi. It has the one of the largest community of foreign residents in Istanbul.


Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid I had settled this district in 1850s. He had erected to Obelisks to notify the beginning and ending points of quarter.

The Nisantasi means “Aiming Stone” in Turkish. During Ottoman period, Sultans had used these obelisks as arching points . They are like small obelisks and have Ottoman Inscriptions on them. Some of them are still standing in Nisantasi District.

During the Balkan Wars (1912-1913), Lots of Turks had migrated from Makedonia especially from Thessaloniki and settled here. Also Famous Turkish Poet Nazim Hikmet was one of these migrants too.

Nisantasi was a district where the Sultans had been coming for hunting and shooting practice during the Ottoman period. They had settled some stones for shooting practice and it got the name from those stones. After the sultan Selim III had offered to set first stone in the place of existing Tesvikiye Mosque, also he had offered to build up a small mosque in 1791. After the second period of 19th century, it had grown up within developing style. Because of moving of Sultans from Dolmabahce Palace to Yıldız Palace and visiting of dynasty members to Nisantasi, it got very popular for rich people.

It was a villa district until 1930 and then became an area of luxury apartment buildings. Especially, it became a residential area for rich people. After 1970s, by losing importance of Istiklal Street, famous luxurious shops have been moved to Nisantasi.