This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (June 2021)
|Time zone||GMT +2|
|Area code(s)||(+90) 212|
Nişantaşı is an upmarket, largely secular residential neighbourhood in the Şişli district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey. Separated from Osmanbey and Pangaltı to the west by busy Halaskargazi Caddesi, it is a popular shopping district, full of boutiques, department stores, cafés, pubs, restaurants and night clubs. Many of the streets are still full of fine 19th and early 20th-century apartment blocks. Directly to the south lies the large and leafy Maçka Park and to the east the city district Beşiktaş.
Nişantaşı provides the backdrop for several novels by Nobel laureate Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, a local resident for many years. Journalist Ece Temelkuran compared the neighbourhood to Greenwich Village, Manhattan.
In the middle of the 19th century, Nişantaşı was settled by Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I who erected a pair of obelisks to define the extents of the new district. It was Abdülmecid I who ordered the construction of the Neo-Classical Teşvikiye Police Station and the Neo-Baroque Teşvikiye Mosque to create a proper district, encouraging Constantinopians to settle in the area (hence the name Teşvikiye which means Encouragement in Ottoman Turkish).
The word Nişantaşı means "Target Stone" in Turkish. Target stones were erected in the Ottoman period to mark the records of Ottoman archers including sultans. Shaped like small obelisks with Ottoman Turkish inscriptions on them, some of these target stones still serve as monuments to Nişantaşı's past, their inscriptions recording when a particular arrow was fired and by whom as well as recording the distance it flew.
Following the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, many Turks from Macedonia, especially Thessaloniki (Selânik, which was an Ottoman metropolis until 1912) settled in the Nişantaşı quarter of Istanbul, including the family of the famous Turkish poet Nâzım Hikmet. Apart from the Turks, the quarter also had sizeable Greek, Jewish, Armenian and Levantine communities.
In 1923 many Dönme moved to the area from Thessaloniki after the Greek-Turkish population exchange. Arriving in Nişantaşi, they occupied abandoned Greek houses. A few of their descendants still live in Nişantaşi where they are a tight knit community.
On Valikonaği Caddesi stands the home built for his family by the early Republican architect Vedat Tek in 1913-14. Its facade displays many of the features of the First National Architecture style with which he was associated, including thick lancet windows, tiled panels and protruding Selçuk-style stone roundels.
Built in 1853 on the site of an older mosque, the elegant Tesvikye Mosque was once associated with the Dönmes who had arrived from Salonica (now Thessaloniki) during the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey. The founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun's funeral was held here in 2006. Two target stones dating back to the late 18th and early 19th century stand in the mosque's courtyard.
In 1979 the editor of the Miliyet newspaper, Abdi İpekci, was shot and killed near Tesvikye Mosque by Mehmet Ali Ağca, the man who went on to shoot at Pope John Paul II. A memorial statue marks the spot.
The Park Hyatt Hotel is housed in the Maçka Palas building which started life as an apartment block designed by Guilio Mongeri in 1922. At different times it was lived in by the third Turkish president Celal Bayer, the poet and politician Abdülhak Hamid Tarhan and Turgay Şeren, a goalkeeper for the Galatasaray football team.
Maçka Technical High School (Maçka Teknik Lisesi) was originally designed by Giulio Mongeri and constructed by the Italians to serve as their country's new embassy in Istanbul. However, when Ankara became Turkey's new capital in 1923, it was donated to the Turkish Republic. Building work was not completed until 1970 when it was turned into a school.
There are three public primary schools on Nişantaşı Avenue (Nilüfer Hatun Primary School, Sait Çiftçi Primary School, and Maçka Primary School) and two public high schools (Rüştü Uzel High School, Nuri Akın High School).
The prestigious Feyziye Mektepleri Vakfı Işık Okulları (Feyziye Schools Foundation Işık Private Schools) is a private school incorporating a kindergarten, primary school and high school . It was established in 1885 as the Şemsi Efendi Primary School in the Ottoman city of Selânik (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey, was a student of the Şemsi Efendi Primary School.)
Several faculty buildings of Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and Marmara University are also located here. The ITU is housed in what was once the Maçka Barracks designed by members of the Balyan family of architects.
Distance to Major Districts
- Taksim: 10 minutes
- Beşiktaş: 10 minutes
- Kadıköy: 25 Minutes
- Bakırköy: 30 Minutes
- Levent: 20 Minutes
- Sarıyer: 30 Minutes
- New Airport: 40 Minutes
One of the two archery stones in the courtyard of Teşvikiye Mosque in Teşvikiye, Nişantaşı.
Abdi İpekçi monument in Nişantaşı.