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Nişantaşı at night
Streets of Nişantaşı
City's Nişantaşı shopping mall


Nişantaşı is a quarter of Istanbulmarker, Turkeymarker, comprising neighbourhoods like Teşvikiyemarker, Osmanbey, Maçka and Pangaltı. It includes the stores of world famous brands and has many popular cafés, pubs, restaurants and night clubs. It is a part of the Şişlimarker district. Abdi İpekçi Street, Turkey's most expensive shopping street in terms of lease prices, stretches from the neighbourhoods of Maçka and Teşvikiye to the center of Nişantaşı.

History

Nişantaşı was settled by Sultan Abdülmecid in the middle of the 19th century. He erected two obelisks to define the beginning point and the ending point of the quarter. He ordered the construction of the Neo-Classical style Teşvikiye Police Station and the Neo-Baroque style Teşvikiye Mosquemarker for a proper district, encouraging the citizens of Istanbul to settle here (hence the name Teşvikiye which means Encouragement in Ottoman Turkish).

The word Nişantaşı literally means Aiming Stone (target stone) in Turkish. Before the land had been granted for public use, it was an area where Ottoman soldiers used to shoot at target stones for improving their aiming skills. Some of these target stones, which are shaped like small obelisks and have Ottoman Turkish inscriptions on them, are still found on the pavements of Nişantaşı as monuments from the past.

Following the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, many Turks from Thessalonikimarker (Selânik, which was an Ottoman metropolis until 1912) settled in the Nişantaşı district of Istanbul; including the family of the famous Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet. Apart from the Turks, the district also had sizeable Greek, Jewish, Armenian and Levantine communities.

Today

Nişantaşı is famous for its many Art Nouveau apartment buildings and is home to several prominent figures of the Turkish jet-set, culture and art. Nobel laureate Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk is one of the local residents, and the quarter formed the background in several of his novels. It is a place where you can easily see famous people walking on the street any time during a day. In Nişantaşı you can have a cup of coffee at Armani Café or shop at the nearby Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Escada, Kenzo, Max Mara or any other famous boutique within walking distance. City's Nişantaşı, opened in 2008, is a Saks Fifth Avenue style shopping mall which aims at the high-end consumer group and is mostly dedicated to the famous fashion brands. People living in Nişantaşı are mostly wealthy and well-educated. Also, Nişantaşı has the largest community of foreign residents in Istanbul after Taksimmarker and Cihangirmarker.

Especially on Saturday nights Nişantaşı becomes crowded with people who come to the famous pubs and cafés of this district to spend some time. On Sundays the neighbourhood becomes less crowded and is mostly left to its residents.

See also



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