Bakırköy is a large, densely
populated middle class residential suburb of
İstanbul, Turkey on its
European side, between the E5 main road and
on the coast of the Sea of Marmara.
||Ateş Ünal Erzen
Bakırköy is an important shopping and
commercial center for İstanbul.
times Bakırköy was a separate
community outside Istanbul, a well-watered pleasant seaside retreat
from the city, and was called Hebdomon
( , "the
Seventh", i.e. seven Roman miles
city walls), distorted to Hepdoman. Here the Emperor Valens
built the imperial Palace of
. The church of St. John in Hebdomon
also built here, the burial place of the emperor Basil II
. The suburb served as an important parade
and assembly ground for the army, and was the scene of imperial
coronations in the 5th century.
Later the place was also named Makrohori
distant place" in Greek
) which was
distorted to Makriköy ("Köy" meaning "village" in Turkish, used in
place of "-hori") in the Ottoman period, when many large houses
were built here. In 1925 this was changed to Bakırköy in a move to
eliminate all place names of non-Turkish origin. Further out of town
from the centre of Bakırköy is the town of Yeşilköy (Ayastefanos, Saint Stephanos in Greek).
little remaining of historical significance in the area: what there
is includes a cistern (Fildamı Sarnıcı), a powder house from the
17th century (today used as Yunus Emre Kültür Merkezi in Ataköy),
the(Greek Ortodoks) church of Saint George was consecrated on 2 May
1832 and a Greek school, central mosque and fountain of 1875, an
Armenian church and school and the
resting place of the Muslim saint ZuhuratBaba, a Turkish soldier who died during
the conquest of Constantinople.
His resting place is often visited by women
on Fridays. The seafront is now a popular location for tea gardens,
clubs and restaurants
, (although the
beaches have not been usable for decades).
Bakırköy became a popular residential area in the late 19th century
after the construction of a railroad
connection to İstanbul and up until the 1970s was one of the most
relaxed and desirable locations in the city. It is still populated
by Istanbul's middle-class (trades people, bureaucrats, the
However, since the 1950s Bakırköy has grown considerably and is now
heavily populated. It has not suffered the same scale of influx
of people that have flooded in from Anatolia into the cheaper
buildings in surrounding districts like Bağcılar, and Bakırköy appears tidier than those
However it still suffers from congestion and
over-crowding. Where once were pleasant buildings in gardens, now
are rows of apartment blocks, with gardens around them and not as
tall or tightly packed together as the cheaper suburbs but blocks
nonetheless. And this growth of course placed severe strain on
Bakırköy's infrastructure. It is struggling to catch up and there
is now insufficient space for children's playgrounds, parks and so
on. Not to speak of car parking.
Some parts of Bakırköy are very pleasant residential areas,
particularly the streets from the hospital down towards the sea.
The planned satellite town of Ataköy to the west of Bakırköy centre
is very tidy indeed, and was probably Turkey's first successful
planned development. Ataköy contains much social infrastructure
including the Galleria shopping center and yacht marina.
Bakırköy from Cevizlik sea side
The center of Bakırköy is an important commercial district.
There is a
huge shopping district (including a number of huge shiny shopping
centres as Carousel), a range of cinemas, bars and cafés.
Now (2006) the council is trying to
smarten up the shopping district by pedestrianising more of it and
putting in fountains etc.
is easy to reach by public transport; there are dolmusues to
Beyoğlu throughout the night; there are buses to Mecidiyeköy (although using the E5 by bus is unpleasant indeed:
there is a ferry boat service that takes
passengers to Bostancı on the Asian side of the city and also to the Adalar (Islands);
and the light-railway from the airport to Aksaray runs through here.
Turkey's largest and oldest
, built in 1913, is close
International Airport is located here, in the quarter of Yeşilköy.
A number of five-star hotels have been
built around the airport. There is some textile production on the
fringes of the area but Bakırköy is residential and commercial
rather than industrial.
Istanbul's largest mental hospital is in Bakırköy, and the parkland
surrounding it is the largest green space in the district.
There is a popular belief that the underground water of Bakırköy
comes from the river Danube.
Being on the Sea of Marmara, Bakırköy is vulnerable to earthquake
headquarters of Turkish Airlines
are in Yeşilköy in Bakırköy.
- " Contact Us." Turkish Airlines. Retrieved on 24 June