“Waterwheel Stream”


Flea market: Sunday

Dolapdere is the area immediately below Tarlabaşı but whereas Tarlabaşı is full of fine if broken-down houses Dolapdere offers little of architectural interest except the magnificent Piyale Paşa Cami, a work of Sinan, which is really in Kasımpaşa anyway. This is a rundown, poverty-stricken area blighted by the busy roads that slice through it and a reputation for petty crime.  Not surprisingly Dolapdere is the sort of area people often pass through without even registering the fact (for example, on the way into town from the airport), its most eye-catching feature being the array of stores selling nothing but shop-window mannequins in all shapes, sizes and colours.

The most startling feature of Dolapdere is probably the shiny Grimshaw Architects’ building that has, since 2019, been home to Arter (closed Mondays, admission TL100, free on Thursdays), an art gallery hitherto a fixture on İstiklal Caddesi. Arter is an unashamedly contemporary art space, its permanent collection supplemented with short-term exhibitions. Its arrival here sparked the sort of artistic flourishing that eventually revived places such as Shoreditch in London, with a branch of Dirimart also establishing itself here alongside a number of smaller private galleries. For the time being they all sit rather uncomfortably alongside the general dereliction.

Just one 19th-century church is worth a side trip and that is the huge Greek Orthodox Church of Panagia Evangelistra, a rather clunky building with twin towers that was built between 1877 and 1893 beside an ayazma (sacred spring). In 2024 it was under restoration. Nearby, keeping a low profile, is the shop of the city’s last pork butcher.bitpaz2

Sunday mornings see a flea market in full swing in the streets around the church. It offers a glimpse of a sad, poor İstanbul a million miles in spirit from the glitz of places such as Cihangir just a couple of miles away geographically.


Dolapdere is hardly a mine of fine-dining experiences. However, Arter does house a pleasant branch of the Divan cafe chain, while the nearby Sheraton İstanbul City Centre has a range of good restaurants for those who’d rather not venture further afield.

Transport info

Buses from Taksim, Şişli and Kasımpaşa run to Dolapdere. A free minibus shuttle for Arter visitors runs from Tepebaşı and back again throughout the main part of the day except on Thursdays.

Nearby areas



İstiklal Caddesi







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