Beyoğlu and Beyoğlu Municipality
The first examples of western city planning implementation which were conformed to the Administrative Reforms started in Beyoğlu. Beyoğlu with its’ history, location, ethnical and cultural characteristics, was the starting point of urban modernisation. The modernisation had to be started with several reforms. Beyoğlu was opened to the world with its harbor, docks and Golden Horn as a trade center. Beside these features, its’ dominance over the Capital and Bosphorus had attracted all foreign embassies into its borders. The residents were rich and open-minded.
The reforms has been started the 28th of December 1857 with the regulations of Beyoğlu and Galata Offices referred as the “6th District”, the 7th of June 1858. Istanbul was divided into 14 districts. Beyoğlu was named as the “6th District” although it was the first. The reason it was named "Sixième arrondissement" -6th District-is that, the "Sixième arrondissement" which is located in Paris was the most well organized and prosperous district of Paris. The aims of the ‘’6th District’’ was to organize and develop the commerce and to bring to the district the European urban services.
As soon as the 6th District was built, Mr. Mehmet Kamil was assigned for this newly formed local authority. He had good relations with the corps diplomatic and foreigners. The decision in order to implement immediately the necessary services regulations was taken, cleaning of streets, construction of sewers, water ways and some other necessary services. As a first step, the cadastre maps of Beyoğlu and Galata have been drawn. Gardens for general use in Taksim and Tepebaşı were renewed and organized for being able to put in use. An hospital was built and the illumination was provided to the streets. Istiklal Avenue was illuminated with gasoil torches for the first time.
With the regulations in 1959, the cleaning works of the streets were put in tender. The streets were divided into 3 categories. First class streets were cleaned on a daily basis, even twice during the summer, 3rd class streets were cleaned once a week. These services were legitimated for the elitist western part of Beyoğlu.
The Municipality of Beyoğlu was established on 20th ofApril 1924. Beyoğlu which included Beşiktaş, Şişli and Kemerburgaz in its borders during the first years of the Republic took its’ present form with the separation of Beşiktaş in 1930 and with the connection of Kemerburgaz to Eyüp in 1936 and the constitution of Şişli Municipality in 1954.
In 1970, the district was divided into boroughs. Beyoğlu which used to be managed by the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul until 1984 gained its current status which was organized within the framework of “Local Administrations Law
” issued for Metropolitan and Borough Municipalities in 1984 including 45 neighbourhoods.
The Municipality Building is at the intersection point of Yolcuzade İskender, Meşrutiyet and First Municipality streets at Şişhane Square. The building was built during the first mandat of Mr. Edouard Blacque (1879-1883). The architect of this charming building is Barborini between many other fascinating buildings he has offered to İstanbul. The building is dominating the Golden Horn and the historic peninsula with its’ wonderful view.
Beyoğlu, the cultural center of Istanbul with its’ rich cultural heritage, creative industries, historical and cultural diversity, hosts since centuries people from different cultures living together in harmony. Beyoğlu is an open air museum with its’ historical monuments and is the center of cultural centers, art galleries, cafes and restaurants. Each day there are more than 1 million people passing by the street of Istiklal. The population of the district is 250.000.
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn. The district encompasses other neighborhoods located north of the Golden Horn, including Galata, Tophane, Cihangir, Şişhane, Tepebaşı, Tarlabaşı, Dolapdere and Kasımpaşa, and is connected to the old city center across the Golden Horn through the Galata Bridge and Unkapanı Bridge. Beyoğlu is the most active art, entertainment and night life centre of Istanbul.
During the 19th century it was home to many European traders, and housed many embassies, especially along the Grande Rue de Péra (today İstiklâl Avenue). Beyoğlu was one of the first parts of İstanbul to have telephone lines, electricity, trams, municipal government and even an underground railway, the Tünel, inaugurated in 1875 as the world's second subway line (after London's Underground) to carry the people of Pera up and down from the port of Galata and the nearby business and banking district of Karaköy, where the Bankalar Caddesi (Banks Street), the financial center of the Ottoman Empire, is located. The theatre, cinema, patisserie and café culture that still remains strong in Beyoğlu dates from this late Ottoman period. Shops like İnci, famous for its chocolate mousse and profiteroles, predate the founding of the Republic and still survive today.
The main street of Beyoğlu, İstiklâl Caddesi, from Taksim Square, a pedestrian street where shops, cafés, patisseries, restaurants, pubs, wine houses and clubs, as well as bookshops, theatres, cinemas and art galleries are located. Some parts of İstiklâl has a 19th century metropolitan character, and the avenue is lined with Neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings. The nostalgic tram which runs on İstiklal Avenue, between Taksim Square and Tünel, was also re-installed in the early 1990s with the aim of reviving the historic atmosphere of the district.
A large number of the cultural creative industries are located in Beyoğlu, such to give you very few; Istanbul Modern Museum, Pera Museum, Koç Museum, Doğançay Museum, TURVAK, SALT, Arter and the majority of the cultural centers and galleries.