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Tophane skyline seen from Bosphorus
Tophane skyline seen from Bosphorus
Tophane is located in Istanbul
Coordinates: 41°01′39″N 28°58′56″E / 41.02739°N 28.98228°E / 41.02739; 28.98228Coordinates: 41°01′39″N 28°58′56″E / 41.02739°N 28.98228°E / 41.02739; 28.98228
Country Turkey
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code0-212

Tophane (Turkish pronunciation: [topˈhane])[1] is a quarter in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Turkey. It has a coastline with the Bosphorus. In the Ottoman era, it was the city's oldest industrial zone.


The name of the place was derived from the armory known as Tophane-i Amire (Ottoman Turkish: توپخانه امیری‎; English: Imperial armory), which was built in the reign (1451–1481) of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. Its main purpose was the manufacturing cannons and cannonballs. Tophane, which could be seen in Melling's (1763–1831) engraving, has not been able to survive to this day. In 1823, during the Firuz Agha fire, the barracks were burned down only to be rebuilt later. In addition to this, during the reconstruction effort, the Nusretiye Mosque was constructed. The oldest remaining military buildings within Tophane were the old General Staff Headquarters and the industry barracks. Both were taken down due to construction to widen the road in 1958. In the place of the barracks, all that is remaining now is the historical clock tower and Mecidiye Mansion.

The Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex in Tophane, built by the Ottoman Kapudan-i Derya Kılıç Ali Pasha and designed by the renowned architect Mimar Sinan, is a külliye (group of buildings) which comprises a mosque, a medrese, a hamam, a türbe, and a fountain that were constructed between 1578 and 1587.

The Tophane Fountain, situated between Nusretiye Mosque and Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex, was commissioned by Mahmud I and built in 1732.


During earlier times the main population of Tophane consisted of Greeks and Armenians, however from the start of the twentieth century a large amount of migrants from Anatolia arrived in search of jobs as laborers at dockyards and industrial zones. Due to this influx of migrant workers Turkish population became the majority in Tophane. Arab migrants from Siirt as well as migrants from provinces such as Bitlis, Erzincan, Erzurum were added to the population.

Cultural activities[edit]

Tophane building is currently being used by Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts. Every year the first week of March, a traditional dress ball is held to commemorate the founding of the school. Currently there are many sisha houses as well as American bazaars which help bring many people to Tophane.

The Istanbul Modern, a contemporary art museum established in 2004, used to also be located in Tophane, in 2018 it moved to another location where it will remain until the construction by a new building is finished.


  1. ^ "Üçüncü Ünite - Session 3 3.2 Pronunciation - Linguamanca". 2016. Retrieved 2017-07-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)