Taksim Square is a 280-year-old square. Many of these buildings have undergone major changes over the years and many have been destroyed.


The Taksim Republican Monument was built in 1928 by the Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica in the Taksim Square. With the help of the sculptor Hadi Bara and Sabiha Bengutas, the monument was completed. The monument, opened on August 8, 1928, was built by Giulio Mongeri, architect of the pedestal and surroundings. In 1925, a commission formed under the chairmanship of Istanbul deputy Sinasi Pasha contacted Pietro Canonica and the monument was ordered. Stone and bronze were used for the construction of the monument which lasted for 2.5 years. A donation was collected from the donors because the financial resources were quite limited. The monument, which weighs 84 tons, was brought from Rome to Istanbul by ship. This monument is the first statue to reflect Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in a figurative narrative way and a new assembly that was established for the Turkish nation. In the planning of this monument, environmental arrangements were made considering that ceremonies would be held in front of it. Because of this plan, many buildings in Taksim were constructed with round plan.


The water coming from the Belgrade Forest was kept in this cistern before it was distributed. This cistern building is a stone building. The structure is 21 meters wide, 90 meters tall. The cistern is twelve sections, each section is 6 X 21 meters. The height of each section is 2.91 meters. The water volume of the cistern is 2730 cubic meters, which is a very important quantity compared to the turn. During the Ottoman period, there were clattered buildings on the side of the cistern overlooking the square. There was even a simple barracks theater where Hacivat and Karagöz plays were performed. Masse store was made here later. Luxurious phaetons, horse carriages, were sold at the Masse store. Over time, police stations and toilet buildings were built here. In 1940, with the understanding of a new urbanism, all these additions were destroyed and a cistern emerged.


Taksim water cistern has a long face that overlooks Taksim Square. This building is also located in the west of the Taksim Square. The length of the building is about ninety meters. In this part of the cellar facing the Taksim square, there was a police station and public toilets in the past. In the following years, these structures were destroyed. After the demolition, a long and monotonous facade emerged. In 1940, the water cascades were built with the aim of bringing this movement to the front. Especially during the holidays and celebrations these water cascades were illuminated. The sound and colorful light games that the water flowing from these cascades emanated were an important topic of that period. Many families went to Taksim to watch these pictures. It has been neglected for many years. During the ceremonies of 01.05.1977 (The Labor Day), the provocateurs who shoot at the people unfortunately used the roof of this building.


The settlement in Harbiye from Taksim started with the fire of Beyoglu in 1870. The homeless Levantines and non-Muslims began to move around the pilgrimage buildings built around Harbiye. The city gradually began to reach Harbiye, Pangalt?, mostly with military and administrative structures. Mekteb-i Harbiye Sultan who gave the name Semta Sultan II. It was founded on 1834 by  the order of Mahmut. Today the building is used as a military museum in 1864, Sultan II. It was built by Abdülhamit. After the declaration of Republic, the Military School was transferred to Ankara on September 25th, 1936. The Istanbul Radio House, one of the important buildings of the region, started its service with the opening speech of the President ?smet ?nönü on 19th November 1949. Notre Dame de Sion French High School is located opposite the Radio House. Today, there are many hotels, domestic and foreign airlines along the Cumhuriyet Street which is one of the main streets of the city.


The Topçu Barracks and the Gezi Park is a gigantic building site between the Republic and the Mete Roads, which is a frontage to Taksim Square. The large rectangular area ends with Asker Oca?? Street. This area was formerly the Armenian Cemetery. Later, the Armenian Cemetery moved to ?i?li. The barracks were built on the graveyard. This area is 38,000 square meters in size. This area was built during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamit I. The first structure was wood. The first structure was wood. The wooden structure was greatly destroyed during the Kabakç? Rebellion, which occurred during the reign of Sultan Selim III. This destroyed structure massively. During the reign of Mahmut II, it was repaired by Haf?z Mehmet Emin A?a. The second structure of the Topçu Barracks was built between 1803-1806 with the original name by Halil Rifat Pasha. Kirkor Balyan was the Armenian architect of the architect of the structure. The architectural style of this building is a movement called Orientalism. The main body of the Topçu Barracks, which carries Indian, Russian, Turkish architectural breezes, was two storeys, bulbous domed and tower-like corners were three storeys. This structure was used as barracks until the occupation years of Istanbul. During the occupation, the soldiers of Senegal were allocated. After the occupation, the building was largely devastated. In 1940, Governor and Mayor Lütfü K?rdar made radical changes in Taksim under the consultant architect Henri Prost’s urban design project. The Taksim Barracks was destroyed in 1947. The area was later associated with the square in the name of Taksim Gezi. The area of ??38 thousand square meters became a place to relax for the ??Istanbul folks after that date. While urbanist Henri Prost was preparing the development plan, he planned a big park between Taksim, Dolmabahçe, Ni?anta?? and Be?ikta? Vi?nezade. Taksim Gezi was also suggested to the authorities. It was the first park built during the Republican period of Istanbul. Marble ladders with marble fences, seating areas overlooking the Bosphorus, benches, grass fields, made the Gezi a popular destination for the public.


With the victory of the independence war and the young Republic was founded, the old “capital” of the Ottoman Empire needed a new landmark to symbolize the new Turkey.

In the first years of the Republic, the name of the street was changed as “Istiklal (Liberty) Street”, but it was not seen enough in terms of urban reality and it was not enough to describe the enthusiasm of the Republic, the story of the War of Independence in a contemporary language. In this view, while attempts were made to provide monetary contribution from the people, the famous Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica was called for the production. With the help two young Turks, Hadi (Bara) Bey and Sabiha (Bengüta?) Han?m, the monument was completed in 1928.

In the grand opening, the environment was not planned very well; the monument was in the middle of an empty area. The famous architect Mongeri of the era, set up a circular layout and turned it into a square through the monument in Taksim. The monument is a rectangular block made of small, angular, closed niches of 11 m high, covered with pink and green marbles and four pointed arches. It was elevated on a broad base consisting of half circle and spring parts.

The inside of closed niches is quite crowded: the people, soldiers, commanders, Mustafa Kemal, Ismet and Fevzi Pashas who conducted the War of Independence from the very beginning; the other part shows the members of the Grand National Assembly, students and the public. In the other two facades of the monument in the medallion, are the heroes holding the flag and Turkish women who fought heroically in the war. These successful compositions emphasizes a passionate enthusiasm from war to peace, from nothing to the bright future of the Republic.


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