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taksim squre - Istiklal street...the surroundings and sides..

Republic Monument, Taksim, Istanbul
Istiklal jadasi
old times
But on the walls
Turkish police was praying Namaz
Taksim Square is the heart of modern Istanbul, laid out in the late 1800s near a taksim (branching-point) in the city's water distribution system. You can still see the taksim at the beginning of Istiklal Caddesi.

The Independence Monument (Istiklal Aniti) in the circle at the southern end of the square commemorates the Turkish Republic's founder, Kemal Atatürk, in both his roles, as military commander-in-chief and as statesman.

The open space to the north was once a reservoir. Facing the square at its northern end is the Atatürk Cultural Center.

Cumhuriyet Caddesi (Republic Avenue) goes north from the square to the upscale districts of Elmadag, Harbiye, Nisantasi and Sisli.

Taksim Park, to the west, was formerly a huge Ottoman artillery barracks. Across Cumhuriyet Caddesi from it was the barracks parade ground, called the Talimhane. After World War II this large, flat, open area was developed with a grid of streets, and more recently has seen the construction of more than a dozen medium-size 4-star hotels.

One long block north of the square are three of the city's best luxury hotels, the Divan Oteli, Ceylan Inter-continental, and Hyatt Regency Istanbul. The Istanbul Hilton is a few blocks farther north.

The Marmara Hotel is right in Taksim Square itself.

Istiklal Caddesi, formerly the Grande Rue de Péra, starts in Taksim Square by the Independence Monument and extends southwestward to Galatasaray Square and Tünel Square.

Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue) is the heart of Beyoglu, the more modern district of Istanbul built during the 19th century.

The city's most popular strolling, shopping and snacking street, now reserved for pedestrians, is lined with boutiques, cafes, consulates, restaurants, galleries, cinemas and banks, with residential apartments above.

When 19th-century travelers spoke of Constantinople (Istanbul) as the Paris of the East, they were thinking of the Grande Rue de Péra (Istiklal Caddesi) and its half-European, half-Asian culture.

Come in the daytime for shopping, in the evening for strolling, people-watching, supper in one of the many restaurants, a drink in a cafe or bar, and some music in a little nightspot.
***********Republic Monument, Taksim, Istanbul

National Heroes

Here they are, the heroes of the Turkish War of Independence and founders of the Turkish Republic.

In the forefront is Kemal Atatürk, military genius, statesman, generalissimo of the Republican armies during the War of Independence and first president of the Turkish Republic

.To the left is General Ismet Inönü, his comrade-in-arms, second in command, and second president of the republic. To the right is General Fevzi Çakmak, and behind them are other leaders and figures representing the Turkish people.

Monument to National Rebirth

The Republic Monument (Cumhuriyet Aniti) is right in the midst of bustling Taksim Square at the northern end of Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue, formerly the Grande Rue de Péra).

A monument? So what?

There's more to it than you may think....

Under Shari'a (Islamic religious law) in force during the Ottoman Empire, public monuments were not allowed--they were "effigies" (portrayals of beings with an immortal soul) and therefore forbidden as idolatry.

With the coming of the Turkish Republic, however, Kemal Atatürk wanted to make the point that Turkey was now a secular republic with division of state and religion. The government commissioned the Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica to make a work honoring the leaders of the struggle for independence and the formation of the republic in 1923.

The monument was unveiled in 1928, only five years after the republic was founded

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