Monday, October 27, 2014

Before we moved from Istanbul last year, I tried to tick off the remaining items on my bucket list.

Perhaps one of the odd items on my list was visiting an old cemetery, located in the Kurtuluş/ Feriköy neighborhoods, which is where I walked through sometimes from our apartment.

The Feriköy Protestant Cemetery (Feriköy Protestan Mezarlığı) is tucked away off the busy streets of the neighboring, working-class neighborhood and surrounded by high brick walls. The gravestones here date back to the 19th century and depict the melting pot that once lived in Istanbul. In 1857, the Ottoman government donated the land for this cemetery to the leading Protestant powers of that time, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Prussia, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The cemetery is even divided into separate sections for the different nationalities.
You’ll even find a section, separated by a stone wall, that is reserved for Armenian Protestants. The history information I found stated that since Armenians were regarded as “Ottoman subjects,” they had to be separated from the burial plots of the other foreigners. Strange!
Here is a place where you can gaze up at the sunny skies above and find a piece of quietness in Istanbul. Trust me, this doesn’t happen very often when you live (lived) in a city of 15 million. Here, you can block out the yelling simitci, the annoying honking horns and the Turkish children frolicking after school.
Though you may find it odd, I like walking through old cemeteries. I find them peaceful. It’s interesting to see the different architecture and sculptures and take note of the elaborate headstones. I think you also can discover a little bit more about a city’s history by walking through a cemetery. This one in Istanbul is worth searching out if you have extra time or are interested in cemeteries like me.
At the Feriköy Cemetery, I think you will find a lil bit of beauty among the chaos.
Location:
Listed as Feriköy Mezarlığı on Google Maps
About a 20-minute walk southwest of the Osmanbey metro stop.

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3 comments:

April Ozbilgin said...

Thanks Joy! I feel better now. I thought I was odd for liking to walk through cemeteries. I like looking at the dates and then imagine what kind of life they lived. When I make it back to Turkey one day, I will definitely check this out.

Joy said...

@April, Happy to hear that I'm not the only one! :-) As long as it's daytime, I'm happy to wander through a cemetery.

Backto Bodrum said...

I'm a cemetery wanderer too! Always a peaceful place.

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