History of the street: Bagdad Avenue in Istanbul
Being extended parallel to the line of Marble sea almost at fourteen kilometers, the Avenue, how it is called by the citizens of Istanbul, in the ancient time was a road connecting Constantinople with Anatolia. The city received its current name in XVII century when Ottoman sultan Murad IV during the military campaign not only occupied Bagdad along with the whole Iraq, but also took to Turkey the Persian Shah as the captive. The winners spearheaded by sultan came to the city verily on this road which was joyfully decided to be called as Bağdat Caddesi so as to perpetuate triumph forever and ever.Photo magiccityistanbul.blogspot.com
In XVIII-XIX centuries the Avenue started transforming not only in the most important trunk but also to the place attractive for life because for its numerous green areas and closeness of embankments the Turkish nobility liked it. The verily sultans built own residential areas not far away from it giving their example of investment exactly in Asian part of Istanbul. By XX century the Avenue finally shone with all the colors because there were fashionable places opened as well as expensive shops, elite membership clubs, and restaurants. Besides that, the fame of the brightest and richest in all the senses Bağdat Caddesi blew far away from the borders of Istanbul and now almost in every Turkish city the most luxurious street is called in the same manner, Bagdad Avenue because the verily name became the symbol of success.Photo eliteworldhotels.com.tr
Nowadays this most important artery of Asian part of the city still plays the significant part in its life. It refers not only to the trade, even though the present boutiques, markets and shopping malls seem not to close at all, nevertheless, it is likely to work only for visitors and tourists. The citizens of Istanbul love their Avenue for being Turkish but not given to the guests of the city like the main streets of European part of the metropolis. Verily at Bağdat Caddesi the locals like walking, have dinner for dozens of years in the same cafes, as well as visit the favorite shops. Each citizen of Istanbul likes this street and finds something inherent to him, because, apart from its parade, fashionable part, there are a lot of cozy yards, squares, and café where everybody knows each other. In the meantime, the Avenue is not pedestrian; moreover, its traffic is rather intensive. However, the clatter and chatter do not confuse anybody as Turkish people got accustomed to it. In the recent years the administration has tried to change the tune making the cycle lanes here, though. According to the ambitious plan, in the middle of the current century the whole Istanbul should be connect with the net of cycle lanes, and they should begin their ways from the Avenue.
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Still, until there are not many cyclists, there are more chances to find foreign visitors of the shopping malls and Turkish youth that have some fun in the pubs and bars where one cannot be bored. Especially we should take into consideration that not far away from it there is a stadium ‘Fenerbahche’, one of the main football teams of the country. The rare minutes of silence and calmness at Bağdat Caddesi could be interrupted by the sport fans of this club known for their temper all over the world. It is said that even Ataturk supported Fener that is why there is a plenty of symbolic, club shops and graffiti with the emblems here. Nobody is ashamed of his emotions, either fans or Turkish men giving compliments to the women. The Avenue definitely has its own special atmosphere that allows to know about Istanbul a bit more than it is told at the excursions.
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Apart from the stadium and six limitless kilometers of the trading ranges, the Avenue is also famous for its Museum of toys situated in the square Gestepe. It is hard to walk nearby without amazement moving along this ancient five-floor mansion that endured wars, earthquakes, and blazes. The surprise is to become bigger once you come inside. The private collection of toys that counts more than four thousand copies from all the planet has been amazing with its diversity. The Turkish writer Sunai Akyn had been gathering it for more than twenty years, and Istanbul administration helped to open this unique museum in 2005 to the writer. Nearby there is a legendary green park Gestepe where anyone is able to have some rest after the noise of the Avenue and then, of course, again return to Bağdat Caddesi so as to absorb the spirit of the majestic city and find the own Eastern fairy-tales at the street which was officially regarded as the fourth in the world, if we talk about the trade.Photo galeatravel.gr
Cover photo fr.thejigsawpuzzles.com