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Istanbul – the city which is rebuilding itself


Anyone who has visited Istanbul recently will undoubtedly have been amazed at the dynamic development of this huge city. Construction is happening everywhere, the whole city is buzzing, it never seems to sleep and is constantly on the go. Beyoğlu, located in the European area, right next to the sea, is one of the city’s smallest, but by no means least significant, districts. The Golden Horn separates Beyoğlu from the old part of the city, which can be reached by crossing the Galata Bridge.

When we speak about London as a multicultural capital, then we unfairly forget about Istanbul, which sits on the border of two continents, fusing the two cultures. In ancient Greek times the area was an orchard, and for this reason was given the name Sykai, or fig garden. The first bridge spanning the bay was built in the 6th century, during the rule of the Byzantine emperor, I. Iustitianus, and it was at this time that Beyoğlu’s population began to grow. Later, merchants from Venice and Genova settled in the area, which, in the Middle Ages bore the name Pera. In 1453 Pera fell to the Ottoman Empire, of which it remained a part for several centuries. In 1929 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founded the Republic of Turkey, and the district adopted its modern name.

Beyoğlu today has a population of some 247 000. Setting out on the 3 km Istiklal Avenue from Taksim Square, the neighbourhood is full of cafés, restaurant, pastry shops, clubs, cinemas and theatres. The majority of the houses in Beyoğlu date from the 19th century. The Pera Palace Hotel, where Agatha Christie wrote her famous novel, „Murder on the Orient Express”, can also be found here. The hotel was built in 1892, and today Agatha Christie’s room operates as a museum for visitors.

Beyoğlu, however, is an interesting destination for businessmen as well as tourists. This area of the city is undergoing a dynamic renovation, developing constantly since the 1990s. To date some 25 000 old buildings in danger from earthquakes have been demolished, and in their place modern residential and business quarters, capable of withstanding earthquakes, have sprung up. The Beyoğlu Council, led by mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan, ensure that the modern buildings which appear meet the requirements of the 21st century, while retaining traditional Turkish values. To this end they have established a company, the Beyoğlu Investment Group (BIG), which offers numerous opportunities to businessmen wishing to invest in the region.

Anybody interested in finding out more about these investment possibiities should visit the Council’s website at www.beyoglu.tr,, or contact the management of the company, who will be more than happy to provide further information.

Istanbul is an eternal city. This incredibly beautiful, multifaceted city at the confluence of east and west currently offers business opportunities to those wishing to invest now, which will also be very profitable in the long term. The large population, the perpetual motion and the geographical situation of the city all contribute to the economic success, the like of which can not be found in too many places in Europe today.