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Elegant villas an yalis along the shores of the Bosphorus

Yalis on the Bosphorus

AT HE END of the 17th century, pasas, grand viziers and other distinguished citizens of Ottoman Istanbul began to build themselves elegant villas-yalis- along the shores of the Bosphorus

These served as summer residences, and the styles employed reflected their owners’ prestige. Since then, the yalis that have been built have become larger and more elaborate, adopting Baroque, Art Nouveau, and modern styles of architecture. Most of them still conform to a traditional plan, making maximum use of the waterfront and, inside, having a large sitting room surrounded by bedrooms.

Köprülü Amcazade Hüseyin Paşa Yali,

near Anadolu Hisar, was built in 1698 and is the oldest building on the shores of the Bosphorus.

Early yalis, like this one, were built at the water’s edge, but in later years they were constructed a little way inland.

Köprülü Amcazade Hüseyin Paşa Yali

Fethi Abmet Paşa Yali,

or Mocan Yali, at Kuzguncuk, was built in the late 18th century. Among the visitors were the composer Franz Liszt and the architect Le Corbusier.

Famous as the “Pink Yali”, after its boldly decorated exterior, the house is almost invisible from the land.

Ethem Pertev Yali,

at Kanlıca, is a prime example of the so-called “cosmopolitan period” of the yali building, between 1867 and 1908.

It has a boat house below and combines intricate wood carving, a later development, with the more traditional features of a yali.

The Egyptian Consulate

at Bebek clearly shows the influence of Art Nou Nouveau, with its wrought iron railings worked into a leaf design.

It was commissioned by the Khedive of Egypt in around 1900.

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