Didem Doğan

Bosphorus line: Rumelihisarı

This neighbourhood takes its name from the castle built in the 15th century by the Conqueror of the City Fatih as a base before he started the siege of the city of Constantin. 

First of all just before the neighbourhood of Rumelihisarı you will find the Aşiyan cemetery. All literary souls lie here under the same sky. The cemetery of Aşiyan, located between the neighbourhoods of Bebek and Rumelihisari, looks right at the Bosphorus. Aşiyan means ‘home’ in Persian. It is the eternal home to ones who are lying under, including Turkish literature’s well known writers and poets: Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar (his novel ‘The Time Regulation Institute’ is recently published in English by Penguin Books), poets Orhan Veli, Edip Cansever, Turgut Uyar, poet and novelist Atila İlhan , Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, the composer of Turkish classical music Munir Nurettin Selcuk. Many people come here to pay a visit to them even if they don’t have relatives here at this cemetery. Indeed few places are left and the price is worth the value of an apartment. Right at the entrance on the left hand side Tanpinar’s tomb stone ‘Neither am I within time, nor completely out of it’.

If you walk the steep road in front of the cemetery, you’ll reach to the poet’s house, Tevfik Fikret, of the late Ottoman era, he lived here at this beautiful house for about ten years; the house exhibits his most personal belongings, with furniture, study room, paintings, etc. The walls that border the north of the house are also the borders of the country’s most prestigious university’s, Bosphorus University's south campus; and it is also recommended to have a walk there. If you pass the University’s gate and continue down on the narrow cobble stone street you will reach to a picturesque street (Kaleagasi Sokak) and then to a little square surrounded by red houses. 

The Castle is on your right side, as you pass the square and take the little stairs down to the sea side, this narrow road made by stairs infant of the entrance gates of the houses (Kadinmektebi sock) will end in a couple of minutes and you will be down on the sea shore where all the cafés are lined up for breakfast lovers. Turn left and find the red brick three floor house with tower on the avenue, this building is the head office of a company which is open to public at weekends to visit its contemporary art collection (Borusan). 

The Castle of Rumelihisarı is also a museum and can be visited everyday except Mondays.

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