“With a Hazelnut”

East of Tophane the Bosphorus coast road from the Galataport whips through Fındıklı, a fairly nondescript part of town mainly given over to hotels, business and seafaring matters but with a handful of Ottoman monuments that you might want to look at en route to the transport connections at Kabataş.

Along Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi

Given its historical importance the Meclis-i Mebusan building after which the coast road is officially named is a rather inconspicuous building although its waterside location guarantees it beautiful views. Designed in  1856 by Garabet Balyan, it was originally the Çifte Sarayı, a pair of palaces built to house Sultan Abdülmecid’s daughters, Cemile and Münire. Later, as the Meclis-i Mebusan, it was used for meetings of the Grand National Assembly of the new Turkish Republic before purpose-built premises were built for it in Ankara.

Zevki Kadın sibyan mektep

In front it stands a small relic from earlier times, the brick-built Zevki Kadın sibyan mektep (primary school) which dates back to 1755 and was for a while used as a post office.

Shortly afterwards on the water side of the road you will see an under-noticed work of Sinan, the Molla Çelebi Cami, built in 1562. Behind it is a small Bosphorus-facing park where marble sculptures remind visitors that many of the historic buildings in Tophane and Fındıklı – including the Meclis-i Mebusan – now form part of the Mimar Sinan University and its prestigious fine arts school.

On the opposite side of the road you’ll see the small Koca Yusuf Paşa sebil, one of the public water dispensaries provided by the wealthy to ease the lot of the less well-off in high summer. It was commissioned in 1786 by the grand vizier Koca Yusuf Paşa and was moved here in 1958 from a site beside the Molla Celebi Cami. It has been converted into the pleasant Sebil Cafe if you need somewhere to wait for a ferry.

Most of what is of interest in Fındıklı may lie on the water side of the main road. but in 2013 the decision of a man living in one of the apartment blocks on the inland side to paint the concrete steps near his house in bright colours sparked a phenomenon. Overnight the local authority painted over his colours in grey which inspired people countrywide to rush out and paint other flights of steps in bright colours. Result? The local authority relented and repainted the rainbow stairs.

Transport info

There’s a tram stop at Fındıklı or it’s a short walk from Kabataş or Tophane.

Nearby areas





Stairs that inspired countrywide copycatting


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