Istanbul Areas Series – Taksim

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Taksim is located in the heart of the European side of Istanbul, to the north of the Golden Horn Bay, and to the west of the Bosphorus.

During the reign of Sultan Mahmud I in the years between 1732-1733 AD, the Taksim area was created for the purpose of segregating and distributing the water, which came from the north of Istanbul, and through Taksim branched out into other parts of the city. As the water divided from this area, it was the point where the main water lines converged in the town and so it became known for this purpose through its original Arabic name Taksim which means division into sections in the Arabic Language.

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Every country has at least one city that’s famous for a street in some way or form, that one place that, for whatever reason, stands out from the rest. Whether it’s “Broadway Avenue” in New York or the “Portobello Road” in London. Here in Istanbul, it’s proved to be the famous “Taksim Square” and “Istiklal Avenue“.

It was an interesting story to learn how Taksim square took its name and you can still see the famous stone water reservoir sitting at the entrance of the renowned Istiklal street to this day.

Is Teksim A Conservative Or Secular Area Of Istanbul?

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While there are many Masjids and some practicing Muslims in the area, we would definitely say Taksim was a more Secular area of Istanbul.

You can expect to find a cocktail of entertainment in all its forms in this part of Istanbul that includes some night clubs and bars, which are very rare in more conservative parts of Istanbul. Conservative areas in Turkey are often home to the more practising and traditional Muslim Turks that will not find any benefit in this type of environment.

Since Taksim is known to be the part of the city that never sleeps, it has catered well for the type of tourism it attracts. There are many nightlife options here in addition to a buffet of restaurants, cafes, hotels and shops that all benefit from the income and business the tourists bring. The street vendors, tourist information offices & foreign exchange are always thriving with the visitors Taksim brings throughout the year.

The liberal atmosphere in this area of the city has influenced even the more modern local community to freely enjoy the Western European way of life.

Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue (AKA Independence Avenue) have also been known to witness some important events in Turkish contemporary history. A simple internet search will give you protests, demonstrations, festivals, celebrations as well as cultural, political and social activities that have taken part in this region.

This can explain the extra presence of Turkish police holding machine guns in the area. The police provide both caution as well as safety, ease and assistance for the general public as well as tourists.

As the area attracts many tourists throughout the year, you can see where the government have implemented extra thought and care to provide additional convenience for them. A good example of this is the Tourist Police stops situated in various spots throughout the area in addition to the whole of Istanbul.

What’s So Special About This Location

Well, what we found was, although the Taksim area is large in fame and popularity, you will find it’s actually quite small geographically.

Taksim is a small neighbourhood situated in Gümüş suyu, which means silver water in Turkish, that is affiliated with the municipality of BEYOĞLU. Beyoglu municipality has a total area of only 9 km2, which is the smallest among Istanbul’s 39 municipalities. This, in turn, helps towards the efficiency and easy maintenance of the areas Beyoglu municipality is responsible for.

The M4 Metro Station is located straight bang in the middle of Taksim Square. This mainline connects Taksim to anywhere in Istanbul, as it includes the funicular station that facilitates routes down to Kabatas and the Bosphorus coast, the airport bus station Havaist, as well as other mainlines & routes of transportation that reach various parts of Istanbul.

Taksim boasts various distinguished landmarks, it isn’t enough to talk only about it’s archaeological or contemporary monuments. History is most certainly crowded in this place. You will find the most beautiful ancient buildings decorating the streets and housing many luxurious & modern international shops, restaurants and cafes.

Some Prominent Features The Taksim Area Is Known For:

The famous Republic Monument

This Republic Monument is located in the middle of the square and is seen from its four corners. It was inaugurated in 1928 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923, and it was designed by Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica.

Ataturk Cultural Center

If you are ever in the area, it’s worth visiting the Ataturk Cultural Centre as it offers a wonderous amount of information. You can learn so much about the legendary Turkish leader and his influence on Turkish society as he transitioned the country from the Ottoman era to the modern western valued form it is today.

It’s a famous and very prominent building that overlooks Taksim square. The centre includes an opera house, and it has been an icon of the modern Turkish architecture system since the 1960s.

Istiklal Avenue

Istiklal Avenue is the most famous street in Istanbul, through which the archaeological Tramway line connects Taksim Square to Galata Tower, which is situated at the end of Istiklal Avenue. The iconic traditional red and white tram passes through the avenue, attracting the tourists for rides & photos and more than often carrying a load of kids unknowingly clenched on the back.

Aside from the famous tram hype, the street is full of high-end brands, bars and book shops. It brings in many locals for weekend shopping sprees as well as tourists. There’s even a Madam Tausaurs.

Unique Archaeological Buildings –

Taksim boasts many unique archaeological buildings, one of which includes what was previously called “The Artillery Barracks“, which later turned into the first football stadium in Istanbul in 1921. Another beautiful example is the Galatasaray High School building with its magnificent gate at the entrance to Istiklal Avenue.

Fascinating churches stand on the sides of Istiklal Avenue, such as the Aya Triad Church and St. Anthony’s Church to name a few. All these buildings offer hours of contemplation and reflection that will surely get your imagination galloping off to another realm in time.

What’s The Real Estate Investment Value In Taksim?

Taksim is not always considered an ideal place to live, as it is constantly crowded with local visitors and tourists. However, it’s on the opposite side of the best areas of Istanbul with its return on investment.

Due to Taksim’s tourist popularity and central location, we have seen great potential for Air BnB investment. This can include buying a place, setting it up as an Air BnB and then selling it on for profit, or holding onto it yourself to maintain for a passive income.

The area provides good access to all the main metro lines that take you to other popular sites of Istanbul, which includes the main port to cross over to the Asian side of Istanbul.

Many real estate companies have been pushed to buy old buildings in the area for the purpose of renovating to the latest modern requirements using contemporary design & architectural methods that blend into the environment. Converting these deteriorating buildings, which literally sometimes look like they are just about to colapse, into the most luxurious hotels & high-end residential complexes in the area, have proven to make a great profit on return.

So, to conclude, we feel that buying a property in Taksim for these purposes and targeting them to the right audience is definitely one way of securing a successful investment that yields a high return. And this is the case whether you choose to do this through subsequent resale or through leasing.

Properties in the Taksim area may be higher in price as compared to real estate for sale in other regions of Istanbul, however, this increase in price is justified due to the region being an important tourist attraction in Istanbul throughout the year. This is the main reason for the region’s investment return to be the highest in Istanbul.

For more information about real estate opportunities in Taksim, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

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  • Choose The Neighbour Before The House – Turkish Culture & Islam

    […] of the above issues, especially in areas that are heavy with the ex-pat community. Places such as Taksim in Istanbul or Izmir, Antalya & Alanya on the Anatolian side of Turkey, on the southern coast, […]


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