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 |  CATEGORIES: Historical Landmark, Lists, Whereist Sultanahmet

Sultanahmet Turizm Danışma Müdürlüğü
At Meydanı
Tel. (212) 518 18 02
Fax: (212) 518 18 02

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Sirkeci Turizm Danışma Müdürlüğü,
Sirkeci Garı
Tel. (212) 511 58 58

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Karaköy Limanı Yolcu Salonu İçi,
Tel. (212) 249 57 76

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Hotel Hilton, Taksim/Elmadağ
Tel. (212) 233 05 92

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Beyazit Meydani
Tel. (212) 522 49 02

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Divan Yolu No:5 Sultanahmet
Tel. (212) 518 18 02

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Office Regional
Süleyman Seba Cad., 7, Beşiktaş
Tel. (212) 258 77 60
Fax: 212 258 77 23

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 |  CATEGORIES: Bosphorus, Istanbul Top 30 Tourist Attractions, Scenic & Park & Sightseeing, Tours, Whereist Driving Scenic Tour

Highlights of Çengelköy: Gherkins and MansionsFor Istanbul residents, free association with the word “gherkin” calls up the name Çengelköy, a village on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus.

Nestled in a nostalgic setting, overlooking the waters of the strait, Çengelköy lays claim to fame not only with her succulent gherkins, but also with her historical seaside mansions and tomatoes cultivated on stakes. Nonetheless, Çengelköy remains a village (köy) in name only.

Some fine spring day, chancing to find yourself in the nearby district center of Üsküdar, you may opt to rent a rowboat. Distancing yourself from the shore and delighting in the mild weather, you leisurely sail past, in turn, the villages of Pasha Limanı and Beylerbeyi. Your approach to Çengelköy will be signaled by a glimpse of the brick-red Sadullah Pasha Seaside mansion. On disembarking and inhaling the aroma of bread baking in wood-fired ovens, you may wonder whether you have landed in another world. Strolling the main avenue, you will pass by shops with small windows, stands of fresh fish, the historical bakery, wooden houses, many of whose doors open onto the avenue, seaside mansions from the pages of history, the local inhabitants, and, of course, greengrocers where pride of place is awarded to the “Çengelköy gherkins.”  One other place not to be overlooked is the savory pastry shop.

There are a couple of stories accounting for the uncertain origin of the name of the village. Though little information is available about its status in the 15th Century, it is known that Sultan Mehmed II, while preparing for his campaign to conquer İstanbul (1453), discovered a number of Byzantine palmed anchors in the neighborhood of the village, whose Turkish counterpart (derived from the Persian word for “claw”) is çengel. Thus, the village became known as the “Village of Anchors,” or Çengelköy.  Another story puts forward the claim that the village derived its name on account of its renown as a place where anchors were forged.

Regardless of the source of its name, Çengelköy possesses a justly earned reputation as one of the most charming villages on the Bosphorus. Çengelköy preserves its special distinction despite being incorporated, like the other quiet Bosphorus villages, by the greater metropolitan area of Istanbul.

The Bosphorus has been justly acclaimed for the beauty of her wooden seaside mansions. In the past, Çengelköy also possessed a bounty of such structures. A number of these historical witnesses have been sacrificed to fires.  The Sadullah Pasha seaside mansion, built in 1783, is one of the few to have survived to the present.  On its last legs, the Edip Effendi seaside mansion is one of those still awaiting restoration.

Friendly inhabitants, piping hot tea, and a fatal plane tree
Seaside mansions are not the only reflections of history, of course. The inhabitants of Çengelköy are also distinctive.  The hale and hearty local old-timers and veterans beam with friendly smiles.  What makes them stand out is that they still enjoy amicable relations with their neighbors. Nowadays, when those of us who make our homes in outsized apartment buildings have difficulty in even recognizing our next-door neighbors, the residents of Çengelköy are closely acquainted with each other.

When shopping in Çengelköy, you are always greeted by warm, friendly faces.  True, the tradesmen and local residents already know each other. Though you may be a newcomer, you are certain to be treated as one of them. That is why the population of Çengelköy doubles or even triples on weekends. Many folks come simply to partake of the tranquil, friendly atmosphere.

Tea gardens named “Under the Plane Tree” are ubiquitous and Çengelköy has one, too.  Some 500 years old, the plane tree is 15 meters tall and measures 6.6 meters in circumference and 1.92 meters in diameter. Its history includes one unfortunate incident, however, and it has thus received the epithet “The Killer.”  As the story goes, one day a dead branch fell from the top of the tree and caused the fatality of someone sitting in the tea garden. Nonetheless, the popularity of the tea garden remains high on weekends. In any case, the tree itself is becoming decrepit. One sizable limb extends horizontally about a dozen meters.  Extending a helping hand, the Üsküdar Municipality has provided it with iron props at one meter intervals. In view of its antiquity, the tree was designated one of Istanbul’s monumental trees and taken under protection. Çelik Gülersoy, the late president of the Turkey Touring and Automobile Club, included it in his listing of monumental trees.

Fishers and cats
What more could anyone wish for than to sit by the sea with their legs stretched out, in the shade of this tree aged half a millenary? The waiter will soon bring you a glass of full-bodied tea to complement the savory pastry with ground beef filling you have at hand. Inhaling the fresh sea air, you survey the scene of boats, one after the other, docking and launching at the diminutive pier in front of the tea garden. These are the fishermen who set out before the sun was up. But it would be an error to assume that all those going out to fish were men. For the fishers of the sea include women and even children. You will be amazed at the quantity of fish that is harvested.

If you are not a cat-lover, you may be somewhat discomfited sitting Under the Plane Tree, for numerous stray cats of all colors and sizes wander about the tea garden. It is not unheard of to take home a cat to your liking. Growing up in this setting, they are tame. The local residents are very fond of cats. Bowls of food and water for stray cats are set out in front of nearly every house here. Several pet shops also offer a variety of cats from which to choose.

For car aficionados
Çengelköy also boasts a car museum. Going up on Bosna Boulevard, you will come to the Automobile Museum of the Sabri Artam Foundation. The museum preserves a variety of vehicles, including antiques, race cars, custom-designed cars, and motorcycles. It also offers a maintenance and restoration service for aging cars. This represents the most comprehensive car museum in Turkey.  It is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Çengelköy, which formerly supplied the entire Üsküdar area with its famous staked tomatoes and whose fragrance wafted throughout Çengelköy, is today simultaneously nostalgic and modern. It seems small, but, as you will discover, it possesses a number of pleasant features. Summer and winter, it welcomes the visitor with the same warm reception: You will always be glad that you decided to pay a visit.

In Istanbul Issue 4
An article by: Hande Kızıltuğ

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 |  CATEGORIES: Bosphorus, Istanbul Top 30 Tourist Attractions, Scenic & Park & Sightseeing, Whereist Eminonu






8 November 2009 Sunday, the Non-Stop Bosphorus Tour begins !

This new line will be applicated only on Sundays.

Compare to existing   NOSTALGIC BOSPHORUS TOUR ,  it takes less time and don’t stop on the route.

Departure at Eminonu ( Bosphorus pier ) at 14:00  ( 2 PM )

Arrival at Eminonu  at 16:00  ( 4 PM )

Price : 10 TL ( approx.  6,50 $ )

SAVE Istanbul’s best lira-to-leisure ratio can be found aboard the ferry boats that depart multiple times daily from the pier at Kabatas (90-212-444-4436; For a mere 2.8 lira, you can cruise down the Bosporus Strait past Istanbul’s most famous monuments — including the Galata Tower, the Hagia Sophia cathedral and the Blue Mosque — into the shimmering Sea of Marmara and out to a small nearby archipelago known as the Princes’ Islands. Ninety minutes and a few stops later, the ferries pull into Buyukada, the last and largest of the islands. Full of middle-class day-trippers enjoying cheap seafood meals at waterfront shacks, the bustling carless streets suggest a Turkish answer to Martha’s Vineyard. Wait for one of the night boats to return to Istanbul. The panorama of illuminated mosque domes and glittering hills will burn in your memory long after your stay. Cost 2.8 lira.

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 |  CATEGORIES: Bosphorus, Istanbul Top 30 Tourist Attractions, Scenic & Park & Sightseeing, Whereist Driving Scenic Tour


Anadolu Kavağı (Anatolian Poplar) is the last port of Turkish maritime city lines on the Anatolian side. You may feel at home with the familiar groups surrounding you, since foreigners are far more than the local people. Everyday ferries sailing off from Eminönü port bring groups here and than takes them back in the afternoon.

The restaurants around the small square generate most of the income of the village. Most of these restaurants are named after sea, such as Yosun (Seaweed), Altın Balık (Golden Fish), Sahil (Seaside) and Mercan (Coral). We suggest you to try one of them and enjoy the fresh fish and the splendid panorama. There are also several cafes for those who want to have a cup of tea or coffee

Yoros Castle is one of the places that should be seen. In fact you have to walk a little more to reach this castle, however you sure will be fascinated by the view once there. Anadolu Kavağı is also famous with its grape yards.

Anadolu Kavagi

The first village on the Asiatic shore and the last stop on this side of the Bosphorus ferry. Like those at Rumeli Kavagi, The castle now stands, there was in ancient times a temple of Zeus Ourios, Zeus of the fair wind, and also a Hieron with shrines dedicated to the 12 gods. The yemple and shirines were said to have bee founded by Phrixus en route to Colchis on the flying ram with the golden fleece the beginning of the whole Argonautic sage.

Yoros Kalesi is well worth the climb up the hill , If only for the breath taking view that it gives to the Black Sea. Anadolu Kavagi is still small a cluster of houses, a few restaurants by the Bosphorus, tea houses shaded by great plane trees, fisherman mending nets, just a pretty fishing village white a calm, attitude to life.

South of Anadolu Kavagi rises Yusa Tepesi, named after a holy man of old called Yusa Dede whose mosque is on the summit.

This pleasant little fishing village is the last stop on the excellent ferry ride along the Bosphorus, which you can take from Eminonu. This tour is an absolute must if you visit Istanbul. The houses and architecture along the Bosphorus are stunning. The idea is that you end up in Anadolu Kavagi with enough time to visit the ruined castle on the hill to take in the view of the mouth of the Bosphorus and enjoy a great meal in one of the many fish restaurants there. My favourite was the one immediately to the left of the Ferry Iskele.

At the north end of the Bosphorus, last stop on the ferry ride.

Yoros castle

About the boat tour to Anadolu Kavagi:
Take the boat from Eminonu: 10.30, 11.55, 13.30 on normal working days. This costs about 5$. You will make a long ride up and down Bosphorus, through all points of interest. This boat will stop at the following places:
Beşiktaş Kanlıca Yeniköy Sarıyer Rumeli Kavağı Anadolu Kavağı

In the weekend it will leave at 11.20 and will make the following stops:
Beşiktaş Ortaköy Kanlıca Sarıyer Rumeli Kavağı Anadolu Kavağı

Along the way, you will first notice the legendary girl\\\’s tower. There are countless stories about why this tower was built in the middle of the sea. It is used as a luxury restaurant today. A dinner here can set you back by 60$ per person. Customers are mainly business class of Istanbul.

You will see the houses of rich and famous Turks along the way, houses where a month’s rent is around 5000$. Dolmabahce sarayi is on the seaside, a place which was used after Topkapi. Just near that is another palace: Ciragan Sarayi, a luxury hotel today.

Kanlica, on the Anatolian side, is famous for its yogurt, preferably eaten with some sugar on it. If you are lucky this delicacy will be sold on the boat shortly after it leaves this stop.

You will be going under the bridges of Bosphorus; the fact that you are now between Europe and Asia will be at the back of your mind.

When you step out of the boat, you will be surprised with Anadolu kavagi, which feels like a fishing village more than a district of Istanbul. The boat will stop here for lunch. If you have brought you sandwiches, like I did, you will have a meal watching the black sea.

All through the voyage, views are great. Tea, coffee and other beverages are sold on the ship. I suggest you bring your simit with you (A round bread covered with sesame). I always bring more \\\’Simit\\\’ than I need, the rest to throw to the seagulls, which make acrobatic moves to catch it.

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