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CHARLES UNIVERSITY IN PRAGUE, FACULTY OF ARTS

FACULTY OF HUMANITIES BUDAPEST EÖTVÖS LORAND UNIVERSITY




TRANSFORMATION OF PERA INTO THE CULTURAL DISTRICT OF
ISTANBUL IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY

MASTER’S THESIS




M. SAMI BAYRAM

August, 2016

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to the founder and manager of the patisserie.86 In the first half of the 20th century Patisserie de
Saint Petersbourg and C. Lebon et Bourdon became the Markiz Pastry Shop and recently became
known as Yemek Kulubü. However until the 1940s it was known as a Lebon Patisserie. Specific
customers of the pattisserie were described the place with the phrase, "Chez Lebon, tout est bon".
The modern interior design and Art Nouveau style walls, made by J.A.Arnoux, still exist today.
The cafe was presented Western lifestyle and elites, writers and some intellectuals chose this
place for intellectual meetings. Pera’s 20th century’s writers and intellectuals adopted these
practices.
Another important coffee place was the Eptalofos Cafe, located at the entrance of the Grand
Rude de Pera. Originally opened in 1870 as Cafe d’Europe, in the early 20th century it was
renamed Ulus Kahvesi. Recently the site became occupied by Burger King.87 The cafe hosted
many famous Turkish intellectuals during the 20th century; Behçet Necatigil, Attila Ilhan and
Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca, to name three according to Enis Batur.
Grand Cafe-Chantant Peres was established in 1867 and it was located opposite the British
Palace in Pera. On Saturdays and Thursdays, the masked balls were held there. Moreover, every
evening some concerts were held in there. 88
One of the oldest and most remarkable ones was Cafe De La Marine from the early 19th century.
Bateau A. Vapeur, who travelled from Paris to Constantinople in the first half of the 19th century,
recorded his memories of the cafe:

“ Avant de monter a bord nous primes d'excellentes glacee au Cafe de la Marine, et nous nous
renseignames des nouvelle de jour. Un seul journal, ecrit en français, s'imprime a Smyrne ”

The Casino de Pera was established in 1849 as the first private club. It was opened in the old
British consulate building and adorned with modern types of furniture, bourgeois elegant
ornaments, billiards tables and mirrors.89 It was becoming a different activity point for
inhabitants and it was taking the high attention of the elites.

86 19. Yüzyılda Beyoğlu’nda Yeme ve İçme Mekânları.
http://www.sosyalbilim.com/2013/08/19-yuzyilda-beyoglu-ve-yeme-icme-mekanlari/.
87 Batur, Enis. 2005: 1970 Istanbul, Yapı Kredi Yayınları, p. 24.
88 http://www.sosyalbilim.com/2013/08/19-yuzyilda-beyoglu-ve-yeme-icme-mekanlari/.
89 Koçak, Dilek Özhan. 2011, p. 156.

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Hotel Restaurant des Palais de Fleurs was the other significant public place and socializing
point. On February 5th 1855 a glamorous ball organization took place in the Palais de Fleurs,
whose interior design was remarkable. Akın stated that the ball started at 11pm and continued till
4am, just like other balls in Pera. 90

2.6 Lighting and Professional Management of Pera and
İntizam-ı Şehir Komisyonu (the city discipline commission) was the first municipal organization
in Istanbul inspired by French community administration and it was established on 16th August
1854.91 The commission contributed to general city development, its regulation and to the
modernization process until the establishment of the local administration bodies. Moreover, the
financial sources of the commission were Pera’s foreigners, bankers, and entrepreneurs. These
commission members came together in order to take decisions about the city development and
regulations. However after a couple of years, the commission realized that they were not able to
manage the city from one location, thus they proposed dividing Istanbul into fourteen
municipalities.92 Thereafter Pera was renamed Altıncı Daire, meaning ‘Sixth District’. It was the
first European-style Ottoman municipality organization, which also introduced important
changes, professional district regulations and lighting efforts soon after it was established.
Although it was the first established municipality in the Istanbul, in the case of the name,
Ottoman authorities gained inspiration from the 6e arrondissement de Paris and used the name
for Pera. The purposes for the creation of Altıncı Daire were to better organize trade and bring in
European-style services.93

“ The Municipality of the Sixth District chaired by a müdür (director), was comprised of a meclis
(municipal council) of seven members appointed by the government. The members of the council
were required to be property owners within the municipal borders of the district and to have
resided in the city for more than ten years. These were Antoine Alleon and Avram Camondo, who
were also amongst the members of the previous İntizam-ı Şehir Komisyonu, Septime Franchini,


90 Akın, Nur. 2002, p. 225.
91 Koçak, Dilek Özhan, 2011, p. 164.
92 Koçak, Dilek Özhan, 2011, p. 153.
93 Beyoğlu Belediyesi Tarihçesi.
http://www.beyoglu.bel.tr/beyoglu-belediyesi/detay/Belediye-Tarihcesi/10/2/0.

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www.tiyatroportal.com
www.obarsiv.com

http://gerflint.fr
www.personal.umich.edu

http://filoche.chez.com
www.lepetitjournal.com
www.maggieblanc.com

www.levantineheritage.com
http://constantiople.ehw.gr

http://turksandarmenians.marmara.edu.tr/
www.rifatbali.com

www.lesartdecoratifs.fr
www.aksam.com.tr
www.antiques.com

www.sosyalbilim.com
www.beyoglu.bel.tr

www.mehmetmazak.com
www.sosyalbilim.com

www.arup.com

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www.bridgesandfoundations.usask.ca

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