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BEYOĞLU GUIDE

Okmeydanı – Menzil Stones

A large piece of land on the slopes of the Golden Horn rumored to be the place where his otağ (large and luxurious tent) was set up in Mehmet the Conqueror’s siege of Istanbul was outline by nineteen border stones as foundation land after the conquest and this large area was called "Okmeydanı" (Arrow Square) after Bayezid II had the "Tekke-i Tirendazan" (Tekke of Arrow Square) in 1490.
Bayezid II had Şeyh Hamdullah, one of the greatest calligraphers developed by Ottoman Empire, built this tekke as he was also a master of archery. The tekke was opened on hıdrellez in spring time, remaining open for six months. On Mondays and Thursdays, contests were held in three different categories for “receiving a menzil” in low, medium and top categories according to the experience of the archers.
The menzil (archery range) stones are marble monuments with no scripture (or with scripture) with lengths varying from 1.5 to 7 m, most of them cylindrical. Beside cylindrical ones, there are also stones with spirals, wings, polygonical, with tapered square cross-section or which are square shaped. Those erected for sultans, on the other hand, are 6-7 meter high magnificent monuments with scriptures on two sides each.
One hundred thirty-two of such menzil stones, which have been very meticulously documented are presently known.

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