Ortaköy: A pretty village on the Bosphorus

The knot of fear                                                                                                                          United in peace                                                                                                                               Every now and then                                                                                                     Juxtaposed                                                                                                                                           Just a few steps apart                                                                                                                    Looks at each other compassionately                                                                                                  On the shores of Istanbul                                                                                                                 The Ezan                                                                                                                                              The Bell                                                                                                                                                 The Hazan                                                                                                                                           Beki L. Bahar

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This pretty village lies on the European side of Bosphorus. When the Byzantine emperor Basil commissioned a famous monastery here, the village was called as Haghios Phocas. At her cape, a 19th century Ottoman mosque takes everyone’s attention stretching out on the waters of Bosphorus. Once, this point was called as Kleidon, the key of bosphorus, and the Ortaköy mosque adorns it with its rococo ornaments.

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The wide waterfront square of the village, formerly acted like a mouth of the Ortaköy river which was ending in Bosphorus. Today, this old river  bed cuts the valley vertically as the main avenue of the village. On the contrary, the waterfront square functions as the main gathering place of the writers, poets, artists, students and visitors. One can find all different kinds of entertainments here full of cafes, bars and restaurants. A half day can be spent here to explore the historical buildings such as the 19th century Ottoman Feriye palaces (Galatasaray University), its police station (Feriye restaurant), Esma Sultan Palace, Fehime Sultan and Hatice Sultan Yalıs, 18th century Damad Ibrahim Pascha Fountain, 16th century Ortaköy Hamamı (Turkish bath), 19th century Hagios Phocas Church, and Etz Ha-Hayim Synagogue.

 

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