Kasımpaşa is a quarter within the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a low-lying area north of the Golden Horn, on the European side of the city. Neighbouring quarters include Dolapdere and Kurtuluş.
Kasımpaşa is one of the oldest residential areas in Istanbul with a strong naval tradition. The ships of Sultan Mehmed II sailed into the Golden Horn from this quarter. After the fall of Constantinople, Kasımpaşa flourished. By the 16th century, it contained the Imperial Arsenal and docks of the Ottoman Navy, home to 120 ships. As the Empire declined, the yard became neglected. By the end of the 19th century, the Ottoman fleet was far from its days of glory as a major sea power between the 15th and 19th centuries (until the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz in 1861–1876, when (in 1875) the Ottoman Navy had 21 battleships and 173 warships of other types, ranking as the third largest navy in the world after the British and French navies.) The large size of the navy became a financial burden on the Ottoman treasury after the economic crisis of 1875 (which sparked the Great Eastern Crisis in the Balkan provinces of the Ottoman Empire.) Earlier, in 1821, much of the Kasımpaşa quarter was destroyed by fire. Today, the old arsenal is a repair dock serving cargo ships, ferries and a small shipping line.
The Turkish Naval High School was founded in 1773 to teach geometry and navigation to naval and civilian merchant captains on board a galleon anchored at Kasımpaşa. The Turkish Naval Academy was housed in Kasımpaşa from 1838 to 1850. Following the Armistice of Mudanya, the former Ottoman Ministry of the Navy (Bahriye Nezareti) building in Kasımpaşa became the headquarters of the Istanbul Naval Command on 14 November 1922.
Culture and contemporary life
In the first years of the Republic, the Golden Horn area became less popular. In the 1950s and 1960s, Kasimpasa was a working-class area, especially for sailors and people working in the harbour. In the early 21st century, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality began investing in the quarter by building a new stadium, sports complex, swimming pool, library and social recreation facilities on the shore of the Golden Horn, with fitness and health facilities available to the public.
Above the beach lies Ok Meydanı, where the sultans practiced archery. Several marble columns commemorate sensational shots by various sultans. The square has a namazgah, an outdoor prayer space.
The neighbourhood has become synonymous with the local football club Kasımpaşa Spor Kulübü, which plays in the Süper Lig. Its home matches are played at the 13,500 seat, multi-purpose Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium, named after the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who was born in Kasımpaşa and attended the Piyale Primary School in this quarter.
- Official website of the Turkish Navy: General history of the Turkish naval forces
- Vryonis, Speros (2005). The mechanism of catastrophe : the Turkish pogrom of September 6-7, 1955 and the destruction of the Greek community of Istanbul (3. printing. ed.). New York: Greekworks.com. p. 235. ISBN 9780974766034.
- "Turkey". Muurkrant.nl. 2004-10-04. Archived from the original on 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2010-04-26.