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local area

Visit and enjoy the hidden gems

Sumahan on the Water is located in Çengelköy. The name Çengelköy directly translates to "hook village".  The origin of the name is uncertain but according to Evliya Çelebi, a cache of Byzantine anchors was found here shortly after the Conquest in 1453. Thus, the village became known as “The Village of Anchors”. Çengelköy is an ideal community to experience long forgotten ‘village life’ in Istanbul where the local vibe survives, and where residents and shopkeepers warmly greet each other on the street daily. 

Kuleli Military Highschool as seen from the Bosphorus.
Kuleli Military
HIGH School

This 19th century building was most recently used as a military high school. The building was commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid. Florence Nightingale used the building as a military hospital during the Crimean War. Even though you cannot visit the interiors, you can stroll along the coast where most people come to fish to admire its grandiose exteriors.

Specialty street food at local neighbourhood Cengelkoy.

‘Kokoreç’ is one of the most famous street foods in Turkey. It is lamb intestines, wrapped around sweetbreads on skewers and grilled horizontally over the charcoal fire. With the addition of wonderful spices, it becomes a unique delicacy. Enjoy one of the many kokoreç vendors in Çengelköy.

Kaymak Mustafa Pasa Mosque as seen from the Bosphorus.

Kaymak Mustafa Pasha, who was one of the leading names of the Tulip Era, commissioned this 18th century mosque. The mosque was built in 1720 and renovated in the 19th century during the time of Sultan Mahmud II. It is a beautiful wooden structure with a deep burgundy color that sets itself apart from other Istanbul mosques.

Local farmers market at Cengelkoy.

On Mondays you can visit this casual local market. Vendors sell fresh vegetables, fruits and household goods. It's a great way to emmerse yourself in the weekly ritual of the locals and find out the seasonal offerings.

Man fishing at the Bosphorus.

You'll find plenty of people fishing along the Bosphorus in Istanbul, especially in Çengelköy. People like to fish for hobby, even bring their families for a day out. On sunny days, the coast along the Kuleli Military School is often packed with fisherman, enjoying the long stretch of opening with panoramic views of the Bosphorus.

Historical tea garden at local neighbourhood.

One of the oldest landmarks of the neighborhood is this casual tea venue by the Bosphorus. The plane tree, that gives its name 'Çınar' to this tea garden, is 800 years old. You can grab your morning paper, order your breakfast and Turkish tea, and start your day off just like the locals.

beylerbeyi & üsküdar

Beylerbeyi is named after a ‘Bey’ (translated as ‘lord of the lords' or 'governor'), who was ruling the district in the 16th century. The main landmark of the neighbourhood is the 19th-century imperial ‘Beylerbeyi Palace’ with its impressive interiors and wonderful gardens.

Üsküdar is one of the oldest neighbourhoods on the Asian side of Istanbul. It has been an important site since the Byzantine era as a main customs point. During the Ottoman era, it was the place of departure for the Hac (pilgrimage to Mecca). Today it is a solid working-class neighbourhood with important imperial mosques and a busy historical market place. 

Beylerbeyi Palaca as seen from the Bosphorus.

This Beylerbeyi palace is a great example of the changing Ottoman architecture of the 19th century when the Ottomans were striving to become more European.  It was built as a summer palace for Sultan Abdülaziz. Due to Sultan Abdülaziz’s love of the sea and boats, you will notice numerous sea related murals on the ceilings.

The Maiden Tower as seen from the Bosphorus.
KIZ kulesi
Maiden’s Tower

This customs station from the Byzantine era, lying on a small island located off of the coast of Üsküdar, has been associated with many urban legends about an emperor who imprisoned his daughter in order to protect her from death as the oracle had prophesied. The tower today has been transformed into a café and restaurant, with an excellent view of the historical peninsula.

Mihriman Sultan Mosque viewed at night time.
Mihrimah Sultan Mosque

If you're in Üsküdar, make sure to visit this beautiful 16th century mosque designed by the famous Ottoman architect Sinan. The mosque was built for the daughter of Süleyman the Magnificient, one of the most powerful Ottoman sultans who ruled for 46 years. The longest reign in Ottoman history.

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