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Bagdat Road Istanbul

Bagdat Road Istanbul
It has been dubbed the Bond Street or Rodeo Drive of Istanbul although it more resembles a modern version of Istiklal Road but without any historical structures or a tram.  Here you are spoilt for choice with all the big name brands and many upscale restaurants.  As an alternative walking route, you can stroll along Sahil Yolu the street that runs parallel to Bagdat Road where there are several seaward facing parks.

Location

On the Asian side of  Istanbul , Bagdat Road (or Baghdad Street) is the leading shopping street and runs for six kilometres from Kadikoy to Bostanci and passes through or edges around Kiziltoprak , Feneryolu , Selamicesme ,  Ciftehavuzlar , Goztepe ,  Caddebostan , Erenkoy , Saskinbakkal Suadiye , and Catalcesme.

History

As far back as the Byzantine period there was a road that ran from Uskudar to Anatolia and at some point took a different route from the modern Bağdat Caddesi to Kiziltoprak .  
Sultan Murad IV took Baghdad in 1638 when he renamed the road in celebration of the event, which was also commemorated by the Baghdad Pavilion at Topkapi Palace .  The Sultan and his successors placed fountains along its route for travellers to quench their thirst and a few have survived with others remembered in place names like Selamiçeşme (Selami’s Fountain), Çatalçeşme (Fork Fountain) and Söğütlüçeşme (Willow Fountain).  Many were originally part of namazgahs (open-air prayer areas) and the design of the Çatalçeşme with its three spouts was to make it easier to water the passing camel trains.  

Wooden Houses of Bagdat Street

During the 19th century the residential areas in the suburbs of Bagdat Street became very fashionable and magnificent mansions were built and some still survive particularly in Caddebostan .  Before the Bosphorus Bridge opened in 1973 many smaller summer homes were built along the waterside and there are only a few of these lovely wooden buildings remaining.  

Zuhtu Pasa  and Galip Pasa Mosque

The area has little left to show of its past although the small 1885 Zuhtu Pasa Mosque in Kızıltoprak and the 1899 Galip Pasa Mosque at Caddebostan remain standing.  

Things to do on Bagdat Road

Today Bagdat Road is the place to be seen whether you promenade or drive slowly up and down and it becomes very lively when the Fenerbahce football team win a match.  

Restaurants and Shops

You will be spoilt for choice for both. Bagdat Street is very long and only has shops and restaurants all the way through.

Dalyan, Ozgurluk and Goztepe Park

There are also several nice parks nearby; the Dalyan Park on the waterside of Caddebostan , the vast Ozgurluk Park ( Freedom Park ) in Selamiçeşme which hosts a festival in early August at its outdoor theatre, and Goztepe Park that has a lovely rose garden running alongside it.  

Synagogue

On Tas Mektep Street there is a synagogue that serves as a reminder of the once large Jewish population living in Göztepe.

Getting to Bagdat Road

Buses and minibuses (dolmuş) run from Kadikoy but because of the one way system they have to go to Bostanci along the Coast Road (Sahil Yolu) and then back from Bostanci to Kadikoy along Bagdat Road.  
To reach Bagdat Road from Kadikoy you have to alight at the coast road and take one of the side streets inland or stay on the bus while it rattles along all the way around the loop.  You can access the surrounding suburbs using the suburban train service from Haydarpasa which will greatly improve once the Marmaray Project is finished.  
There are also ferry services from Eminonu or Besiktas to Kadıköy and the hydrofoil services from Kabatas to Bostanci .

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