Eyüp Cemetery

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Eyüp Cemetery
4713 Istanbul - Cimitero - Foto G. Dall'Orto 30-5-2006.jpg
Part of the Eyüp Cemetery seen from the eastern bank of Golden Horn.
Location Eyüp, Istanbul
Country Turkey

41°03′10″N 28°56′04″E / 41.05278°N 28.93444°E / 41.05278; 28.93444Coordinates: 41°03′10″N 28°56′04″E / 41.05278°N 28.93444°E / 41.05278; 28.93444

Eyüp Cemetery is located in Istanbul
Eyüp Cemetery
Eyüp Cemetery
Eyüp Cemetery (Istanbul)
Type Public
Owned by General Directorate of Foundations
Website İBB Mezarlıklar Md. website

The Eyüp Cemetery (Turkish: Eyüp Mezarlığı), aka Eyüp Sultan Cemetery, is a historic burial ground located in Eyüp district, the European side of Istanbul, Turkey. It is administered by the General Directorate of Foundations.[1] One of the oldest and largest Muslim cemeteries in Istanbul, it hosts graves of Ottoman sultans and court members, grand viziers, high-ranked religious authorities, civil servants and commanders as well as intellectuals, scientists, artists and poets.


Historic headstones in the Eyüp Cemetery from Ottoman era with different head coverings denoting the burial's profession or social status.

The cemetery was very popular by Ottoman people, who wanted to be buried next to the tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (576–circa 672 or 674), (Ottoman Turkish: Ebu Eyyûb el-Ensarî aka Turkish: Eyüp Sultan). A close companion (Arabic: الصحابه, sahaba) of Prophet Muhammad, he died during a raid against the Byzantine Empire and wanted to be buried as close as possible to the city walls. After the Conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, a tomb was constructed above his grave and a mosque, called today the Eyüp Sultan Mosque, was built in his honor. From that time on, the area now known as Eyüp has become sacred, and many prominent Ottoman people requested burial in proximity of Abu Ayyub.

The Eyüp Cemetery is situated on the western bank of the Golden Horn just outside of the historic Walls of Constantinople (today İstanbul). It stretches between the Golden Horn's shore up to Karyağdı Slope, and further to Edirnekapı. Road construction works and nationalization around Golden Horn did great damage to the graves.

One of the most interesting graves are of the executioners' in the Ottoman Empire, who were in official service. They were not allowed to be buried in public cemeteries. A separate burial ground, called the "Executioner Cemetery" (Turkish: Cellat Mezarkığı), existed on the Karyağdı Hill aside the Eyüp Cemetery. Their burial took place only in two cemeteries in Istanbul, and this secretly in the night. The headstones were blank without any name and date in order to avoid a retaliation by the relatives of the executed person. Unfortunately, only a few executioner graves survived up to date.[2][3][4]

Crime site[edit]

In the evening hours of a November day in 1994, a 45-year-old Austrian woman professor was assaulted, murdered and robbed as she was descending the hill through the cemetery after a coffee break at the popular cafeteria (called Pierre Loti cafeteria) on the top of the hill. The murderer was a 17 years old car painter.[5]

In the early hours of afternoon on August 25, 2001, prominent Turkish Jewish businessman and a cofounder of Alarko Holding, Üzeyir Garih was found dead by cemetery guards next to the grave of Fevzi Çakmak. He was stabbed ten times, of which seven were deadly. Police arrested a suspect after two hours, who confessed the crime adding he committed the murder for robbery.[6] However, the actual murderer, who robbed Garih's money and stole his mobile phone, was caught ten days later.[7] Reportedly, Garih used to visit the grave of Turkey's first Chief of the General Staff field marshal Çakmak every two weeks.[6]

Shortly after the 2001 murder case, a commissioner at the prosecutor's office of Eyüp district admitted that the Eyüp Cemetery had become a place of prostitution and drug use by negligence.[5][8] It was reported that since the murder in 1994 no monitoring by police patrol was taking place in the cemetery and at the trail to the cafeteria on the top of the hill, which are frequented by tourists.[9]

Notable burials[edit]

Field Marshal Fevzi Çakmak's family grave

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Eyüp Sultan: İşte ihmal edilen mezarlık". Medeniyetimiz. 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  2. ^ Erbil, Ömer (2011-08-11). "Cellat mezarlıkları kayıplara karıştı". Radikal (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  3. ^ "Cellat mezarlığı yok oluyor!". Habertürk (in Turkish). 2011-11-09. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "İstanbul’a hürmet Eyüp’ten başlar" (in Turkish). Aksiyon. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  5. ^ a b Ordu, Şenay & Taner Yener (2001-09-01). "Tanıklar susuyor". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  6. ^ a b "Üzeyir Garih öldürüldü". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 2001-08-25. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  7. ^ "Eyüp canavarı kıskıvrak". Sabah (in Turkish). 2001-09-05. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  8. ^ "Eyüp Mezarlığı fuhuş yeri". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 2001-08-20. Retrieved 201-10-28. 
  9. ^ Atilla Toygun & Ali Aksoyer, Asım Güneş, Taner Yener (2001-08-27). "Suçlayacak delil bulunamadı". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  10. ^ "Eyüp: Mezar mezarlığı". Dünya Bülteni (in Turkish). 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  11. ^ "Mareşal Fevzi Çakmak Eyüp Mezarlığı'ndaki Kabri Başında Anıldı" (in Turkish). Eyüp Kaymakamlığı. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  12. ^ "Ören Eyüp Sultan Mezarlığı’na Defnedilecek". Habertut (in Turkish). 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  13. ^ "Murat Öztürk son yolculuğuna uğurlandı". Sabah (in Turkish). 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 

External links[edit]