Istiklal Street and Taksim Square – Istiklal Street
Istiklal Caddesi is the main street of Beyoglu (Pera) and is a pedestrian area. The street that used to be called “Grand-Rue de Pera” during its bright times, was a modem meeting point by the beginning of the 20th century, during the best times (“Belle e’poque”) of Istanbul.
The cultural and social activities for different tastes as well as the cafes, cinemas, bookshops, restaurants, bars come out of istiklal Caddesi or the streets it has connection. There are many shops on the street.
At the south end of the street is the entrance of Tunel. Tunel is an underground railway system that is 570m, from 1875 extending to Galata Bridge and is the second underground of the world in terms of construction date after that of London. While walking towards Taksim, after passing Galatasaray Lisesi, you will see (Jigek Pasaji (Cite de Pera) on the left hand side.
Istiklal Street and Taksim Square – As its Turkish name implies it used to be a passage that flowers were sold; today has many cheerful bars and ‘meyhane’s. It’s an ideal atmosphere to eat, to drink Turkish Raki and to feel Beyoglu. Balik Pazari is worth to see just next to the passage. Although it is prefered for finding fresh fish, you can explore the shops that you can find kind of meat, cheese, desserts, pickles, almost anything you can buy as you walk further Beyoglu.
Taksim is one of the important centres of this multi-centred city. After Pera became popular and crowded the new type of urbanization moved to Nisantasi and Sisli neighbourhood; thus, Taksim has become an important centre. It was a cemetery area until the end of 19™ century. There was a large barrack in the middle of the square and the biggest football field in the city used to be in this barracks.
Taksim had become the most important square of the city during the years when the Republic was founded. It was the most expensive residential area in 1950s. The name of the square is Taksim due to the water coming from Belgrat Ormanlan used to distributed here in 18®1 century. The cistern, made by Mahmut U in 1732, is still at the entrance of Istiklal Caddesi. At the southwest of the square is the monumental statue of Taksim Cumhuriyet Aniti showing the founder of Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey and his friends, made by the Italian artist Canonica in 1928.