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Photographer's Note

İstiklal Avenue (Turkish: İstiklal Caddesi, French: Grand Rue de Pera, English: Independence Avenue) is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul, Turkey, visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day over the course of weekends. Located in the historic Beyoğlu district, it is an elegant pedestrian street, approximately three kilometers long, which houses exquisite boutiques, music stores, bookstores, art galleries, cinemas, theaters, libraries, cafιs, pubs, night clubs with live music, historical patisseries, chocolateries and restaurants. The avenue, surrounded by the unique nineteenth century Turkish architecture, starts from the medieval Genoese neighbourhood around Galata Tower and ultimately leads up to Taksim Square.


Historic tram on İstiklal AvenueGalatasaray Square is located at approximately the center of the avenue and is home to one of the finest educational institutions established in Turkey at the time of the Ottoman Empire; originally known as the Galata Sarayı Enderun-u Hόmayunu (Galata Palace Imperial School) and today known as Galatasaray Lisesi.

In the historic Karakφy district towards the end of the avenue, it is possible to see the world's second-oldest subway station, generally known and referred to as simply Tόnel (The Tunnel) which entered service in 1875. Moreover, the German High School of Istanbul (Deutsche Schule Istanbul in German, Φzel Alman Lisesi in Turkish) is also located near Tόnel.

The cosmopolitan avenue is surrounded by an array of historical and politically significant buildings, such as the Ηiηek Pasajı (Flower Passage) where small, intimate restaurants and taverns are found; Balık Pazarı (The Fish Market), the Roman Catholic churches of Santa Maria and S. Antonio di Padova, the Greek Orthodox Haghia Triada, the Armenian Church (among many other churches), several synagogues, mosques, academic institutions established by various European nations such as Austria, France, Germany and Italy in the early 19th century, consulates (former embassies before 1923) of several nations including France, Greece, Russia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

During the Ottoman period, the avenue was called Cadde-i Kebir (Grand Avenue) and was a popular spot for Ottoman intellectuals, also becoming a center for European foreigners and the local Italian and French Levantines who referred to it as Grande Rue de Pιra. When 19th century travelers referred to Constantinople (today, Istanbul) as the Paris of the East, they were mentioning the Grande Rue de Pιra (İstiklal Caddesi) and its half-European, half-Asian culture. With the declaration of the Republic on October 29, 1923, the avenue's name was changed to İstiklal (Independence) for commemorating the triumph at the Turkish War of Independence.

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Additional Photos by Manuel Mayorga (ManuMay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2467 W: 253 N: 4601] (36447)
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