About Beykoz

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The History of Beykoz begins with the Thracians Around 799 B.C. The Northern part of the Bosphorus was home to Bebrics, Britons, Romans, Pontus, Genovese and Byzantines. The narrative of Beykoz also includes Perians and Abbasids, albeit for a short while. Finally, we came and settled in Bayezid I.’s era permanently. 

Our first abode in Istanbul is Beykoz. The early architecture of our civilization are thus in Beykoz. The construction of the Anatolian Fortress and Mosque dates back to eighty years before the conquest. 

Its shoreline reaches 55 kilometers, with its area of 312 km2, 45 districts, and population of 250 thousand, Beykoz bears the marks of many civilizations. 

Moreover, Beykoz is the sayfiye of Istanbul during the Ottoman Era. Sayfiye means “summer house, suburban countryside. Beykoz has always been the sole destination of those who want to get away from the daily occupations of life and to get out for a stroll. Today, the preserved parts of Beykoz include not only its historical texture and geography, but its sayfiye quality is also still alive.

Beykoz has various promenade axes, a quality that very few districts enjoy. One of them is the historical inventory. These are artifacts that were transferred from the Genovese to the Ottomans, and from them to us such as Ihlamur Pavilion, Anatolian Fortress and Mosque, Hidiv Pavilion, Yoros, Poyraz and Riva Castles and much more. 

Beykoz consists of old districts hidden in the coast line with its unfinished narrative. Anadoluhisarı, Kanlıca, Çubuklu, Paşabahçe, İncirköy, Yalıköy, Anadolu Kavağı, Poyrazköy, Anadolu Feneri and Riva are some of these districts. Each bear the traces of carefully lived-out centuries. Each has a history so full that it cannot be contained in a simple encyclopedia entry. 

Its beaches, 5-star hotels, off-road and motocross courses, natural hiking tracks, BEYKOZ IS “HERE” football facilities, natural camp sites, and its large canal project, Riva is Istanbul’s nearby Mediterranean. Anadolu Kavağı, that stubbornly preserves its architectural texture and is the place where all kinds of fish are cooked to perfection Especially Kanlıca and Yalıköy, are some of the few districts where you can still breathe the 19th century through the traditional Ottoman residences with their alcoves.

Beykoz is also the green sea of Istanbul. Villages that dot the sea like islets placed by a painter are also the purest parts of Beykoz. Polonezköy, Cumhuriyet, İshaklı, Kılıçlı, Bozhane, Göllü, Öğümce, Alibahadır, Mahmut Şevket Paşa, Dereseki, Akbaba… Each of them are “nearby villages” that carry different traces from Anatolia with their peoples and living areas.

More than 40 recreation spots between Alibahadır and Cumhuriyet Villages along the Riva River meet an important social need of Istanbul. Beykoz’s forest villages are veritable sayfiyes with their paintball parks hidden in the forest, natural target ranges, horse ranches, horse riding clubs, motorcycle, bicycle and long hiking tracks, butterfly farm, zoo, camp sites, hotels, restaurants and organic fruits and vegetables grown in their gardens. 

In Beykoz, green is not only hidden behind high hills rising parallel to the coastline. In addition to theMihrabat, Hidiv Abbas Hilmi Paşa and Abraham Paşa Groves; the Beykoz Prairie, Beykoz tree nursery, Kaymakdonduran and Karlıtepe, are the most regular green spaces in Istanbul. These groves are also privileged with the various plant species they contain. 

The tomb of Yusha is also in Beykoz. “Visits to Yusha” were part of an important religious ritual, and the tomb still greets its visitors in the same function. Yusha’s tomb is the second most visited holy site in Istanbul, after the tomb of Ayyub Al-Ansari. The faith atlas of Beykoz also includes Akbaba Sultan Shrine, Kırklar Sultan Shrine, Uzun Evliya Shrine, and Son Şehitler Shrine. They are the spiritual landmarks of Beykoz.

Waterfront residences stringing the Boshphorus shore constitute doubtless the most unique type of residence that the Ottoman civilization contributed to Istanbul. Each of them narrate the story of their owners in their large rooms. What’s more interesting is the fact that it is possible to obtain the political-economic-cultural profiles of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries by chronologically ordering these stories. Waterfront residence tours are a traditional type of trip in Istanbul. Its largest course is between Anadoluhisarı and Yalıköy. There are 89 waterfront residences registered in the historical inventory and each of them tells its own tale.

The fertile soils that the Küçüksu and Göksu rivers dragged and piled on the Bosphorus shore were used to manufacture pottery in Beykoz. Thus, the rivers were prevented from clogging up. Potteries in which this ancient art is transmitted between generations still exist in Beykoz. Another ancient tradition is also alive in Beykoz: glassmaking.

The beginning of glass arts in the Ottoman lands was when Selim III sent a glassmaker called Mehmet to Venice, and its practice in Beykoz, continued for 500 years with some disruptions. Today, Paşabahçe Glass Factory is located in the district where the Modiano Glass Workshop was located at the BEYKOZ BEYKOZ IS “HERE” beginning of the 19th century. The Factory has met the country’s glass demands between 1935 and 2002, in addition to producing works unique to Beykoz, famously known as “Beykoz Works” or “Çeşm-i Bülbül”. Although the factory shut down, many works with the brand Paşabahçe are being manufactured in 22 workshops around Beykoz. Glassworking in the country began in Beykoz and its traces are still visible. We are preparing projects and support programs to ensure the continuity of this art.

Its walnuts, cherries, string beans, corn, its swordfish and turbot, its trotter soup, yoghurt and honey... Beykoz has many trademarks. Some of these traditional delicacies can be tasted today. Beykoz’s axis of delicacies is not enforced, it’s traditional. We also organize festivals to ensure that these tastes will be transmitted to future generations. We organize a yoghurt festival in Kanlıca, cherry festival in Polonezköy and honey festival in Akbaba Village.

Of course, having this historical and cultural inventory, 55 kilometers of coastline, an architectural texture that could preserve its originality, villages, greenery, sea, and bosphorus means that much attention is focused on Beykoz. Beykoz is the district that features the most on Turkish TV. Sixty percent of the TV series that were on air and were sold to more than 40 countries were shot in Beykoz. The main location of many series is Beykoz. Thus, Beykoz has many curious domestic and foreign visitors. The new function of the Beykoz Shoe Factory is hosting Turkish series and movie shootings. Our municipality is also building a new movie set at Kılıçı with the same purpose. 

So, Beykoz is “HERE” and waiting for you with its cultural and natural riches. 

Yücel Çelikbilek 
Beykoz Mayor