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Dikilitaş neighborhood of Zeytinburnu
Dikilitaş neighborhood of Zeytinburnu
Location of Zeytinburnu in Istanbul
Location of Zeytinburnu in Istanbul
Zeytinburnu is located in Turkey
Location of Zeytinburnu in Istanbul
Coordinates: 40°58′59″N 28°53′59″E / 40.98306°N 28.89972°E / 40.98306; 28.89972Coordinates: 40°58′59″N 28°53′59″E / 40.98306°N 28.89972°E / 40.98306; 28.89972
Country Turkey
City Istanbul
 • Mayor Murat Aydın (AKP)
 • Governor Selim Cebiroğlu
 • District 12.08 km2 (4.66 sq mi)
Population (2012)[2]
 • District 292,407
 • District density 24,000/km2 (63,000/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Area code(s) 0–212
Website www.zeytinburnu.bel.tr www.zeytinburnu.gov.tr

Zeytinburnu (literally, Olive Cape) is a working-class neighbourhood, municipality (belediye) and district on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, on the shore of the Marmara Sea just outside the walls of the ancient city, beyond the fortress of Yedikule. The mayor is Murat Aydın (AKP).


In the map, "Seytin Burun" is a little cape which originates of Zeytinburnu and settlements in old Zeytinburnu;Balıklı and Yedi-Kuleh koi

Zeytinburnu was a fortress and settlement known as Kyklobion (Greek: Κυκλόβιον) or Strongylon (Στρογγυλόν) during the Byzantine period, its name referring to the circular shape of the fortress.[3]

The fortress was built in Late Antiquity as part of a series of strongholds that guarded the coastal road leading to Constantinople. It is first attested during the reign of Justinian I (527–565). Kyklobion was used as the landing-site of the Arab armies on both of their assaults on Constantinople, in 674 and in 717.[3] In the early 8th century, the iconodule Saint Hilarion was kept prisoner in the local monastery on the orders of Emperor Leo V the Armenian (r. 813–820).[3] The site is again, and for the last time in Byzantine times, mentioned in a property deed of 1388.[3]

After the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, the name Kyklobion was transferred to the Yedikule Fortress by the local Greeks, and the original site was abandoned. Ruins of the original circular fortress survived until the 19th century, where the Austrian traveller Hammer-Purgstall saw them. Its name at the time was called in Greek Elaion Akra, "Cape of the Olive Trees"; the modern Turkish name has the same meaning.[3]

From the early 19th century onwards Zeytinburnu was an industrial village, centred on the leather industry of the area called Kazlıçeşme, which being on the coast with a good water supply was well suited to leather production. (the area was named for a fountain with a goose carved into the stonework, the fountain is still in existence). Up until the mid-20th century the residents were an urban mix of Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, Jews and Turks and still today the Yedikule Surp Pırgiç Armenian Hospital is active in Kazlıçeşme, and has a museum in the grounds.[4]

The character of Zeytinburnu changed when a large wave of immigrants from Anatolia came and settled there from 1950 on. Zeytinburnu is an important lesson for city planning in Turkey, because it was one of the first Gecekondu districts. In other words, most of the buildings were built illegally, without infrastructure, and without any aesthetical concern. In the 1960s legislation was passed to prevent this type of building but by then this type of development had become unstoppable. At first these were little brick-built single storey cottages. From the 1970s onwards the little houses were replaced by multi-storey concrete apartment blocks built in rows with no space in between. In most cases the ground floor was used as a small textile workshop, and thus Zeytinburnu became a bustling industrial area with a large residential population living above the workshops. All this was still illegal and unplanned and still lacked the infrastructure and the aesthetics. After a heavy rain the streets would run with dirty water for days.

Historical places[edit]


Zeytinburnu today[edit]

Tram station (Zeytinburnu), note this is actually a light rail stock

The leather industry has largely moved out to Tuzla now but the rows of six-storey blocks of housing and textiles remains. Although some improvements have been made to the streets and drainage the area still has a reputation for being the home of tough men and uncontrollable youths who drive around in cars blasting out pop music at high-volume. Possibly this is exaggerated nowadays, and steps are being taken to smarten up the area. Most residents are working class, recent migrants from Anatolia, typically lacking in education. However, the younger generations are more educated thus changing the shape of Zeytinburnu.

To integrate the district with the rest of Istanbul, the municipality has improved the transportation by extending the modern tram line to Zeytinburnu, and the main tram station is now at the intersection of the metro line leading to Atatürk International Airport and Aksaray and fast tram lines leading to Istanbul's inter-city coach station and the old city in Eminönü. Moreover, Zeytinburnu has a station on the suburban railway line Sirkeci-Halkalı. Other important projects have improved the transportation, life quality and the economics of the district. Olivium Outlet Center was opened in 2000 [6] , a modern shopping mall with cinemas, but with many shops specializing in factory surpluses, this has brought new shopping opportunities for the people of Zeytinburnu and surrounding districts, it's very crowded at weekends.

There is an Alevi community served by the Erikli Baba Cemevi[7]

There are large minority groups of Kazakhs and Turkmens,[8] who generally work in the textile, clothing industry contributing to the Turkish economy.

The Zeytinburnu-based NASCO NASREDDIN HOLDING A.S. was categorized as an Al-Qaeda ally by the United Nations.[9][10][11][12][13] It was involved in terrorist finance.[14] The Romanian government legislated this status for Zeytinburnu Nasco Nasreddin Holding A. S.[15] and the Slovakian government.[16][17]

On December 10, 2014, in Zeytinburnu, an assassin killed the anti-Uzbekistan government Islamist Uzbek Imam Shaykh Abdullah Bukhoroy (Abdullah Bukhari).[18][19][20][21][22][23][24] The Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir released statements on Islamist websites which attacked the Uzbekistan government of Islam Karimov and blamed them for the assassination.[25][26] The Uyghur Eastern Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) and Uzbek Islamist exiles demonstrated against the assassination and denounced Putin and the Uzbek government under Karimov in the Fatih district of Istanbul.[27]

Turkish connections were used by Uyghur fighters to go into Syria and the humanitarian Uyghur Eastern Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) which is located in Turkey sent Uyghurs into Syria, endorsed the killing of the pro-China Imam Juma Tayir, applauded attacks in China, and posted on its website content from the Turkistan Islamic Party.[28] Turkish passports were used by Uyghurs who were seeking to contact Mujahidin Indonesia Timor, a pro-ISIS organization in Sulawesi in Indonesia.[29]

The Turkish run English language BGNNews news agency reported that the Turkish Meydan newspaper discovered that Uyghur fighters joining the Islamist terrorist organization ISIL were being helped by businessman Nurali T., who led an Zeytinburnu district based network in Istanbul, which produced counterfeit Turkish passports numbering up to 100,000 to give to Uyghurs from China and help them go to Turkey form where they would enter Iraq and Syria to join ISIL, Uyghurs from China travel to Malaysia via Cambodia and Thailand and then travel onto Turkey, since a visa is not needed for travel between Turkey and Malaysia, then staying at locations in Istanbul, and then going to Iraq and Syria by traveling to southeastern Turkey, the information was revealed by AG who participates in the network, he noted that even though Turkish authorities are able to detect the fake passports they do not deport the Uyghurs and allow them into Turkey, AG said that: “Turkey has secret dealings with the Uighurs. The authorities first confiscate the passports but then release the individuals.”[30]

The Uyghur diaspora in the Küçükçekmece, Sefaköy, and Zeytinburnu districts of Istanbul, Turkey, are the source of Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party Jihadists in Syria.[31][32] The Turkey-based Uyghur website "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni", which supports the Turkistan Islamic Party, reported that the Uyghur diaspora in Küçükçekmece and Zeytinburnu were in fear after the assassination of Uzbek Imam Abdullah Bukhari and the Uyghurs were panicking over reports of Chinese loyalist Uyghur agents sent to Istanbul to hunt down separatist Uyghurs as Russia, Iran, and Assad were fighting against the Turkmens and Turkestan Islamic Party Uyghur fighters.[33][34]

The funeral of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party member İbrahim Küçük took place in Zeytinburnu after he died due to Russian bombing in the Jabal al Turkman area of Syria.[35][36][37][38]



Zeytinburnuspor facility; in the foreground a Corinthian column
Main article: Zeytinburnuspor

In the early 1990s, the Zeytinburnuspor, a top-flight football team, is now languishing in the minor leagues. Arif Erdem and Emre Belözoğlu started their careers here. Matjaž Cvikl (1967–1999), Slovenia national football team player, who died just a few years after played there also.

The women's football team played once in the Turkish Women's First Football League.

Ice hockey

The 2010-established men's ice hockey team of Zeytinburnu Belediyespor finished the 2013–14 Turkish Ice Hockey Super League (TBHSL) season as the runner-up. They became twice champion in the following 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons.[39][40]


The 16,000 seating capacity Zeytinburnu Stadium is home to the football teams of Zeytinburnu.[41]

The Zeytinburnu Ice Rink, opened in 2016, is a mobile ice rink, which hosted the home 2015–16 season matches of the Zeytinburnu Belediyespor ice hockey team.[42]

Town twinning[edit]

Zeytinburnu is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  2. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Külzer, Andreas (2008). Tabula Imperii Byzantini: Band 12, Ostthrakien (Eurōpē) (in German). Vienna: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. pp. 484–485. ISBN 978-3-7001-3945-4. 
  4. ^ "Official homepage" (in Turkish). Surp Pırgiç Ermeni Hastanesi. 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  5. ^ "Official homepage". Zeytinburnu District Portal. 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  6. ^ "Official homepage". Olivium Outlet Center. 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  7. ^ "Official homepage" (in Turkish). Erikli Baba Cemevi. 2010. 
  8. ^ "Official homepage" (in Turkish). Easternturkistan Migration Association, Zeytinburnu. 2010. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 15, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2016. 
  10. ^ http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2002/sc7494.doc.htm
  11. ^ http://www.un.org/press/en/2007/sc9172.doc.htm
  12. ^ http://www.un.org/press/en/2002/sc7494.doc.htm
  13. ^ http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/pressrels/2002/sc7494.html
  14. ^ https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/03ANKARA2332_a.html
  15. ^ Romania (May 2004). Monitorul oficial al României: Legi, decrete, hotărîri și alte acte. Parlamentul României, Adunarea Deputaților. p. 26. 
  16. ^ Slovakia (2003). Zbierka zákonov Slovenskej republiky. Ministerstvo spravodlivosti Slovenskej republiky. p. 1436. 
  17. ^ Slovakia (2003). Zbierka zákonov Slovenskej republiky. Ministerstvo spravodlivosti Slovenskej republiky. p. 1052. 
  18. ^ "Radical Uzbek Imam Shot Dead In Istanbul". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  19. ^ http://www.dailysabah.com/nation/2014/12/13/russian-suspect-nabbed-in-uzbek-preachers-murder
  20. ^ "Turkey: Russian citizen detained in connection with Uzbek imam assassination in Istanbul – Ferghana Information agency, Moscow". Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  21. ^ "Turkey: "Uzbek imam" murder video emerges – Ferghana Information agency, Moscow". Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  22. ^ "Alleged organizers, killers of Uzbek imam in Turkey arrested, named – Ferghana Information agency, Moscow". Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  23. ^ "Four more dissident Uzbeks are on assasination [sic] list -report – Asia-Pacific – Worldbulletin News". World Bulletin. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  24. ^ "Uzbekistan: Swedish Trial Features Testimony About Alleged International Assassin Network". EurasiaNet.org. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  25. ^ http://www.khilafah.com/imam-abdullah-bukhari-may-allah-have-mercy-on-him-assassinated-in-istanbul/
  26. ^ "VIDEO: Sheikh Abdullah Bukhari shot dead in Istandbul". 5Pillars. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  27. ^ http://turkistanlilar.org/%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B1%D1%83%D0%BB%D0%B4%D0%B0-%D1%82%D1%83%D1%80%D0%BA%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%BB%D0%B8%D0%BA-%D0%BC%D1%83%D2%B3%D0%BE%D0%B6%D0%B8%D1%80%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B3/
  28. ^ Zenn, Jacob (10 October 2014). "An Overview of Chinese Fighters and Anti-Chinese Militant Groups in Syria and Iraq". China Brief. The Jamestown Foundation. 14 (19). Archived from the original on 10 October 2014 <!- – 04:11 PM -->. Retrieved 14 June 2015.  Check date values in: |archive-date= (help)
  29. ^ Zenn, Jacob (10 October 2014). "An Overview of Chinese Fighters and Anti-Chinese Militant Groups in Syria and Iraq". China Brief. The Jamestown Foundation. 14 (19). Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  30. ^ "ISIL recruits Chinese with fake Turkish passports from Istanbul". Istanbul. BGNNews. April 9, 2015. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  31. ^ http://www.islahhaber.net/uygur-ajan-rabia-kadir--dogu-turkistanli-mucahidleri-ihbar-etti-42554.html
  32. ^ http://www.furkanhaber.com/ihbarci-ispiyoncu-cikti/
  33. ^ http://www.doguturkistanbulteni.com/2015/11/29/china-entered-into-istanbulturkey-with-her-150-spies/
  34. ^ http://www.doguturkistanbulteni.com/2015/11/20/cin-istihbarati150-ajani-ile-istanbula-giris-yapti/
  35. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 28, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016. 
  36. ^ http://en.haberler.com/killed-in-syria-mhp-deputy-district-head-s-funeral-876409/
  37. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrwVXL8nuRo
  38. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0e4bosjpYI
  39. ^ "Zeytinburnu Belediyesi Buz Hokeyi Takımı Şampiyon Oldu". Milliyet (in Turkish). 2015-06-05. Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
  40. ^ "Buz Hokeyinde Şampiyon ZEwytinburnu Belediye". Milliyet (in Turkish). 2016-05-01. Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
  41. ^ "Zeytinburnu Stadi". worldstadiums.com. Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  42. ^ "Türk Buz Hokeyi'nde Bir İlk". Son Dakika (in Turkish). 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2016-05-04. 

External links[edit]