Turkey also has Istiklal, not a mosque, but a street full of tourists

Istanbul

Who would have thought, Turkey also has Istiklal. Not a mosque like in Jakarta, but a street filled with tourists passing by. Curious?

Istiklal Street, that’s how tourists know the name of this street. This street is so famous among tourists who vacation to Turkey, precisely in the city of Istanbul. Istiklal itself means ‘Independence’ in the local language.

Imagine, along the road that stretches as far as 1.4 kilometers, lined up with shops as well as cafes and restaurants that tourists can visit. Tourists from various countries also have a lot of confusion along this road.

In Indonesia, Istiklal Street is like Malioboro. However, Istiklal is 10 times more crowded than Malioboro. Even with the arrangement and neatness, Istiklal Street is superior to Malioboro.

A bustling atmosphere full of tourists is also presented on Istiklal Street. Especially on weekends, the crowds are surprising. These people are from anywhere and what are they doing on Istiklal Street.

History of Istiklal Street

Istiklal Street in Istanbul Photo: Wahyu Setyo Widodo/detikTravel

The bustle of Istiklal Street in Istanbul did not last only 1-2 years, but since hundreds of years ago. Yes, Istiklal street has existed since the era of the Ottoman Empire which ruled Turkey centuries ago.

Istiklal Street runs at the northern end of the Galata Tower, then extends all the way to Taksim Square. This road is divided by the Tunel Tram line which is still operating today.

Istiklal Street, also known as Grande Rue de Pera in French, can be spelled out as melting pot among the merchants of various nations in the Ottoman era. At this point, they interact and socialize with each other.

Istiklal Street in Istanbul cityOne of the famous shops on Istiklal Street, Istanbul Photo: Wahyu Setyo Widodo/detikTravel

On either side of Istiklal Street, there are many historical buildings that were once used as luxury homes for merchants, bankers and landlords who were close to the Ottoman Empire. There are also buildings that function as consulate offices of neighboring countries that have diplomatic relations with Turkey.

Many of these buildings have now been transformed into hotels, cafes, contemporary restaurants and trendy shops which are very interesting to visit. Although there are also buildings that were renovated and then transformed into museums and art galleries that are no less interesting to visit.

Istiklal Street in Istanbul cityIstiklal Street in Istanbul Photo: Wahyu Setyo Widodo/detikTravel

Oh yes, along these streets travelers will often encounter banners with the words ‘Istiklal Monday’. What do you think it means?

“Oh, Istiklal Monday, that means Istiklal It’s Yours. In essence, we welcome your arrival, tourists,” explained Yavuz Sezen, a tour guide who accompanied detikTravel.

For travelers who like shopping, the Istiklal Street area should not be missed when on vacation to Turkey. A few tips for travelers, don’t walk in the middle because the tram line is still functioning, and always keep your luggage because the risk of pickpocketing will always be there when conditions are crowded.

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