This bohemian quarter named after the Cihangir Mosque built at the behest of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, dedicated to his son Shahzadah Cihangir, who happened to be fond of poetry and arts, houses many interesting figures
With its resplendent panorama overlooking the hillside from Kuzguncuk to Selimiye, on the Asian side, the Maiden’s Tower across Üsküdar, the entrance of the Bosporus, the apex of the old town peninsula, the Topkapi Palace laying on it and even the Prince Islands on cloudless days, Cihangir is a quarter worth seeing and living.
Named after Shahzadah Cihangir Hürrem Sultan (a.k.a. Roxelane), who wanted one of her own sons to ascend to the throne after the death of her husband, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, prepared the end of Mustafa, the eldest son of the Sultan....When Sultan Suleiman arrived in Konya Ereğli, during the Iran warfare, Shahzadah Mustafa joined to his father with his troops. Slandered by Rüstem Pasha, the Shahzade was believed to be a rebel and was slaughtered in his father’s tent. A short while after he has witnessed this bitter incident, Shahzadah Cihangir became very sick and died. In the memory of his beloved son, who died at a very young
The sculpture titled Cihangir Güzeli (Beauty of Cihangir) presented as a gift by sculptor İnayet Türkoğlu was erected in the park of the quarter in 2001.
Today Cihangir generally houses the intelligentsia, artists, the staff of the nearby consulates or foreign schools and the cutest cats
age, Padishah ordered a mosque to Koca Mimar Sinan Aga. The mosque was constructed in 1559-60 on a hilltop overlooking Istanbul. Cihangir, which today generally houses the intelligentsia and artists, is named after this young and unlucky shahzadah, who was very into arts and poetry.
Cihangir burns down with its history! Like most other quarters of Istanbul, Cihangir has also experienced many fires. Since the quarter was not a populated one on those days, the damage was negligible. In the fire of 1765, however, all the residences in the neighborhood burnt down within 10 hours. The fire burst in 1823 in Firuzağa, reached the district, today known as the Başkurt Street. Exactly 40 years after this fire around 40 residences turned into ashes on the very same street. Interestingly, after a fire took place in 1916, all the wooden residences were demolished and none of them were replaced with wooden buildings anymore!
Shiny faces of the republic In Cihangir, some unidentified remains were found on the steep cliff rising as solid rocks from the sea. The remains are believed to belong to an old pagan temple, namely, “An ancient temple named Alexandra” as defined by Evliya Çelebi (traveler) or an early age Byzantine monastery. By the end of the 19th century, Cihangir was already a quarter, mostly resided by non-Muslim communities. After 1920 some of the White Russian immigrants in Pera moved to and settled in Cihangir. Between 1930 and 1950 Cihangir was usually hosting the personnel of the night clubs in Beyoğlu. In this quarter, full of luxurious condos, which
were once housing the rich, there were many private doctor offices, clinics and policlinics. In parallel with the degeneration Beyoğlu went through, Cihangir experienced a similar collapse during 60s. Some old residences were completely rented by the travesties. Today Cihangir is a quarter, mostly resided by people working for the foreign schools, the staff vof the nearby consulates, artists and students.
Coffee-time in Çınaraltı So many groups lived in Cihangir over all these years... Therefore, when you go ask people from various age groups about their idea concerning the quarter, you will be surprised to realize that everyone has a different image in his mind. Some would say “Cihangir is the place where the artists and intellectuals live,” others would remind “Once upon a time most of the reputable doctors had offices and houses in the district”. It is most likely to hear a sentence like “It is impossible to walk around Cihangir, where the travesties live”. The rents in the quarter have always been relatively high mainly because of the foreign schools (German High School, St. Benoit French High School, Sainte Pulcherie French Junior High School for Girls, Austrian High School and Italian High School). In addition the writers, painters, foreigners, dancers, actors and actresses, who prefer the district since Atatürk Culture Center is within walking distance, directors are among the old and new residents of the quarter... The common meeting point of all these vivid figures is the Çınaraltı open air coffee house, situated in the shadow of the Firuzağa Mosque. If, by chance, you drop by the district for some reason in the future, just ask for a cup of bubbled Turkish coffee and enjoy the pleasure for us too!
If, by chance, you drop by the district for some reason in the future, just ask for a cup of bubbled Turkish coffee at the Çınaraltı open air coffee house, situated in the shadow of the Firuzağa Mosque and enjoy the pleasure for us too!