Islambol… Namely İstanbul. What make her indispensable are the names of this city that has
existed in every term of history in the light of multiculturalism. And what have been conveyed
from generation to generation are the stories of these districts...
We witness the differentiation of this city through the poems, movies, books and photos. Even though the names of streets are changed and the house numbers are renewed and the general appearance of neighborhoods catches up with the era and conditions of related time period, what is experienced there and its history remain therein. The names of districts are of meaning like those of humans. The districts do have a past and stories as well.
Upon conquering Aksaray County in Central Anatolia, grand vizier of Mohamed the Conqueror directed his local people living in these lands to a district, currently called Aksaray. Thus, Aksaray people called this district Aksaray from then onwards.
(literally means Stable Gate)
This district, one of the seven stable gates located on the coast of Marmara Sea, was called Ahırkapı because of the fact that main stable, where the sultan’s horses are kept, is situated nearby.
Aşiyan (literally means Bird Nest)
The district got its name from Tevfik Fikret’s house called “Aşiyan” which means bird nest in Farsi.
In a version, the district was named considering the term “galata” which means stair path descending down to sea in Italian
Bağlarbaşı (literally means grove yards) This district is called so since the mostfamous groves and gardens were oncelocated herein.
Bebek (literally means baby)
A couple of hearsays are conversed for the name of this district, former of which is that the nickname of troop commander
that Mohamed the Conqueror sent to keep the region was Bebek (which means Baby), and the latter of which is that the sultan uttered his son, afraid of serpent while wandering in the garden in this district, and this district was called “bebek bahçesi” (which means garden of baby) from then onwards.
The first opinion is that it derived from five stones that Hayrettin Pasha erected to fasten his ships. The other one is that a priest placed his five stones from Jerusalem to the church he built in this district, thus it was called so since then.
The district began to be called as Beyazıt after Sultan Beyazıt II made a complex, to be called with his name, built herein.
Beyoğlu (literally means the Son of Sir)
There are various hearsays about the origin of this district’s name. According to the first of them, it got its name from the Pontus Prince who began to reside herein after converted to Islam. According to another version, this district got its name from the fact that Venetian Prince called as Bey Oğlu (The Son of Sir) resided herein. And another version claims that this district is called since Venetian Ambassador was addressed as “Beyoğlu” which means the son of sir.
The district called as Makri Hori by the Byzantine was named “Makriköy” after conquered by the Ottoman in 14th century. When the foreign oriented names within the national borders were changed in 1925, the district was named as Bakırköy.
Bostancı (literally means orchard)
The district got its name from the orchards where every type of vegetables and fruit are planted in the past.
The district began to be called as Beyazıt after Sultan Beyazıt II made a complex, to be called with his name, built herein
Çatladıkap (literally means cracked gate)
When a gate of walls called Sidera during the Byzantine period cracked in the earthquake in 1532, both the district and the gate began to be called as Çatladıkapı (which means cracked gate) since then.
Çemberlitaş (literally means Strapped Stone)Çemberlitaş (which means StrappedStone) one of the great columns inConstantinus Forum, one of the mostimportant squares of the Byzantine, gavethe name of the district.
As the ship’s anchors used to be made in the past herein, it is considered that the name derived from this fact.
The inspection of artisans in Otoman era was carried out by the “emins”. The name derives from “Gümrük Eminliği” (means Customs Emirate) in this district.
This name comes from Madam Feri who lived during Abdulmecit and Abdülaziz Periods. The lands around in this district were donated to the husband of Madam Feri by the sultan, but following the death of her husband, the district began to be called after her name.
Gala means “milk” in Greek. According to a hearsay, Galata derived by making references to the milk houses in the district. According to another version, it was named considering the term “galata” which means stair path descending down to sea in Italian language.
The district in Fatih, got its name from Horhor fountain. According to hearsay, when Mohamed the Conqueror was wandering herein, he heard of water sounds and told the bystanders “Built a fountain here; look, I heard of water sound, it runs splashing (which is described as “hor hor”). Then a fountain was built herein, and as a result, both the fountain and district began to be called as Horhor.
Okmeydanı (literally means Arrow Square)
Conquest Army spent time during the siege of the city in headquarter, set up in this district. For this reason, the name of the city has been called as Okmeydanı (literally means Arrow Square) since then.
It has been told that a family named Şişçiler (Skewermakers) and who were living on making skewer had a mansion house in this district however, the House of Şişçiler (The House of Skewermakers) went into a change and became “the House of Şişliler” (which may be literally translated as the Houses of Those with Skewer), then the city began to be called so since then.
Şaşkınbakkal (literally means
When there was no settlement, those noticing that a shop was opened for those coming for the sea during the summer months, called the shop “stunned shop” considering there would be no shopping. Since then the district has been called as Şaşkınbakkal, which means stunned shop.
There was a Greek village called Süt Menbat (Milk Menbat) at the point where Sütlüce is located now. Water is leaking through the breast of a woman statue made of copper in the village, and it was believed that this water was good to increase the women’s milk. For this reason, the district has been called Sütlüce.
That-El Kale, name of the district, the denotation of which means “beneath the castle” changed into Tahtakale. It is expected that this name was given to the district, as the district is located at the lower altitude of wall-like building around Mercan or Beyazıt,
then it was called so.
Taksim (literally means Allocation)
Here is the spot where the water sellers used to allot water to people during the Ottoman period, for this reason it began to be called as Taksim.
The district, about which Abdülmecit fostered for establishing a new neighborhood, was called Tesvikiye. This story is proved by two Stones located at the point where Harbiye Police Station, Rumeli and Valikonağı Streets meet.
As there were big scales which are called as “Kabban” in Arabic in some shops, these places were called as Kapan. Since the ships loaded with wheat and barley were chained to its coast, the district got this name.
On the grounds of the fact that military barracks, called Skutari, were located on this side of the city during the Byzantine period, the district used to be called as Skutarion, which changed into Üsküdar in time.
As the hippodrome was constructed on the lands owned by Veli Efendi, the Chief Religious Officer, the district was named as Veli Efendi.
The first opinion for Beşiktaş is that it derived from five stones that Hayrettin Pasha erected to fasten his ships
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