“Ancillary Village”

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If the best place to see Muslim funerary architecture in İstanbul is Eyüp on the Golden Horn, the best place to see that of the foreign communities that made Constantinople their home has to be Feriköy, a small subsection of Şişli that is also home to an organic fruit and vegetable market.

There are two separate foreign cemeteries in Feriköy, one for Protestants and the other for Catholics. Not surprisingly they are as varied in appearance as the countries and cultures they derived from.

Opened in 1859, the Protestant Cemetery, off Abide-i Hürriyet Caddesi, is as simple and plain as the churches of the northern European countries who nurtured the occupants of many of its plots. However, it does also provide the last resting place for many of the Americans who settled in Constantinople/İstanbul.

powellAmongst those buried here are Josephine Powell (1919-2007), the American photographer and textile collector who was one of the last of those indefatigible female travellers who fell in love with Islamic culture; Hilary Sumner-Boyd (1910-76), co-author with John Freely of the seminal guide to the city, Strolling Through Istanbul; Ernest Mamboury (1878-1953), the Swiss author of an early guide to the city; Norman Stone (1941-2019), the historian; and Robert Avery (1918-79), who edited the Redhouse dictionary and sneaked the made-up word “züzuniyet” into the sixth edition as “the last word” – needless to say, it appears on his tombstone. In 2017 Freely’s ashes were also returned for internment in the cemetery.

Across the road the Catholic cemetery could hardly be more different, being full of enormous family tombs that put one in mind of some of the necropolises of ancient cities like Hierapolis.

Whole sections of this cemetery are devoted to the French and Italian soldiers who died during the Crimean War. But of most interest are the precious medieval gravestones, many of Venetian and Genoese traders, brought here when the skeletons from the huge cemetery known as Les Grands Champs beneath what is now Taksim Square were dug up and reinterred in a communal tomb in the 1860s.

Also in Feriköy is the Greek Orthodox Church of the Twelve Apostles built in 1868 in Avukat Caddesi.

Transport info

You can easily get to Feriköy by taking the Metro from Taksim to Osmanbey or by catching any of the buses running north from Taksim along Halaskargazi Caddesi.

Nearby areas





Taksim Square

Robert Avery’s last laugh



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