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Samatya or Kocamustafapasa Istanbul

Samatya or Kocamustafapasa Istanbul
Samatya, a suburb of the city that is rarely visited, was once the base of the Armenian patriarchate and has the ruined Church of St. John the Baptist of Studios which was the most important of all the Byzantine monasteries.

Samatya’s name derives from the extensive sands that were once there and have since become a busy main road, and Samatya is corruption of the Greek word “psamathioin” which means sandy. The official name for the area is Kocamustafapaşa but it has always been called Samatya by local people, which is rare for a name to have survived almost intact since Byzantine times – other places to have kept their original names are Tarabya , Pendik and Langa.

Things to do in Samatya

There is a lovely square in Samatya’s centre, this and the surrounding area featured in the award winning movie “Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys)” by Nuri Bilge Ceylan which is about family honour. The streets directly behind the square house the Greek Orthodox churches of Christou Analipsis and Hagios Nikolaos which unfortunately are usually kept locked. There is a modern Italian church next to the Gençosman primary school that is used by the local Assyrian community and has a strange metal tower that resembles an electric pylon.

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