Beyoglu

Taksim 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…

Judaism

Judaism The Sephardic Jews have been living in the city for over 500 ears. They supported Ottoman Government much by introducing new ideas, methods and craftsmanship. The first Gutenberg press in Istanbul had been established by Sephardic Jews in 1493. They excelled many fields, particularly medicine, trade and banking. More than 20.000 Sephardic Jews still…

Christianity

Christianity Istanbul has been the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate since 4th century AD, and does continue to serve as the seat of some other Orthodox churches, such as the Turkish Orthodox Church and the Armenian Patriarchate. After the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the conqueror Mehmed II founded the Millet System. According to…

Islam

Islam The urban landscape of the city has been shaped by many communities. The most popular major religion is Islam. The first mosque had been built in Kadikoy on the Asian side of the city which had been conquered by the Ottomans in 1353. The first mosque on the European side had been built inside…

Birth

Birth The continuity of a family is provided by children. With the development of people’s educational levels, the belief in the continuity only being provided by sons is losing its effect. At the pregnancy of a new bride, an excitement among family members grows. Upon hearing the good news, a golden bracelet comes immediately as…

Marriage

Marriage In the traditional family, marriage is still a family rather than a personal affair. Marriages are not conducted by the imam anymore as they were before the republic. By law they have to be civil. Approximately 40% of marriages are only civil, 50% are both civil and religious, 10% are only religious which means…

Women

Women Social life consists of two different places: Inside and outside the home. Women leave the outside world to the men, generally remaining in the home. Women get married at an earlier age than men and settle into their role of housewife and home maker. As the education level of women increases, the fertility rate…

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque) Built by Sultan Ahmet I as a part of a large complex, among the Turkish people, it is called Sultan Ahmet Mosque. However, tourists fascinated with the beautiful blue tiles always remember it as the Blue Mosque. The complex consisted of a mosque, tombs, madrasah, fountains, a health centre, kitchens,…

The Hippodrome

The Hippodrome The Hippodrome was built by the Romans in about 200 AD. It was the center of life in Byzantine Constantinople for over 1,000 years and of Ottoman life in Istanbul for over 400 years. It was also the center of numerous political and civil battles, some brutal. Very little of the Hippodrome survives…

Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern Basilica Cistern (Turkish: Yerebatan Sarnıcı – “Sunken Cistern”), is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul, Turkey. The enlarged cistern provided water for the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings on the first Hill and continued to provide water to the Topkapi Palace after the Ottoman…