Discovering the Multi-Cultural Face of Istanbul

Turkey, Istanbul Guide (B): Discovering the Multi-Cultural Face of Istanbul

Istanbul is a metropolis, a multi-cultural spot bridging among Europe and Asia. There is the heart of east and west, and this mixture is reflected in Istanbul’s style for centuries. During the Ottoman times, many nations were living together such as Turkish, Greek, Jewish, and Bulgarian.

Balat and Fener are the two neighbourhoods in the same district where Jewish and Greek citizens were densely populated. The Ottomans were open and respectful to other religions than Islam that the Orthodox Patriarch continued its duties from Istanbul after the conquest. During Sultan Bayezid II times, many Jewish families migrated from Spain, and the sultan supported this act by sending his ships to bring them from Spain. These Jewish families resided in Istanbul until the establishment of Israel after the second world war. The Greek families moved out in the seventies because of the Cyprus dispute.

Today, Balat and Fener has a reputation with a distinguished architecture. The streets resemble a film set with the colourful buildings and cosy French style sidewalk cafe’s. In the last decade, Balat became a vital culture and art centre of Istanbul, that many art galleries, design studios and atelier shops opened. This year, a part of the design Biennal is being organized in Balat-Fener during the time 22 September – 4 November 2018. Click to read more about this event. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: Discovering the Multi-Cultural Face of Istanbul
Guide Location: Turkey » Istanbul
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Saint George Church   Fener Greek High School   Agora Meyhanesi   Hizir Cavus Mosque    Fethiye Camii    Chora Church   
Author: Begum Erten-uyumaz
Read it on author's website: https://tastentravel.beuyumaz.com/balat_fener_istanbul/

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