In Turkey, each city has one main municipality and it is called ´the city municipality´. There are ´districts´ (belediye) within each city municipality, which are sometimes called ´district municipalities´ in the official language.
The city municipality of Istanbul is called ´Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality´ (İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi) and it contains 39 districts, of which 25 are on the European side and 14 on the Asian side. All of these districts are divided into smaller areas called ´neighborhoods´ (mahalle).
The city municipality carries out works that require extensive financial investments. For example, subway, water, transportation, gas, road and cultural projects belong to the city municipality.
Districts take care of, for example, general sanitation, necessary repairs, park and market places of the area, and make construction plans.
For example, Kadıköy on the Asian side – my beloved district of my heart – has more than 20 neighborhoods, and currently has a total population of around 500,000.
The most famous neighborhoods of Kadıköy district are Fenerbahçe, Göztepe, Bostancı, Caddebostan, Kalamiş, Moda and, of course, particularly well known Kadıköy. (Kadıköy is thus both a wider area, a district, and within it the name of a smaller part, a neighborhood.)
Below is the view of Kadıköy at sunset. The photo was taken in one of Kadıköy’s neighborhoods, Fikirtepe. The view is in the direction of the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. In this photo, you can see the neighborhoods Kadıköy, Moda and Fenerbahçe. And if you look closely, you’ll also find the Fenerbahçe football stadium in the photo.
Below you will see a presentation video (credit to ´Aladdin’s Turkey´) of Istanbul’s various neighborhoods. Although the video tells about living in Istanbul, you will also get a good overview of the different areas of the city center as a tourist. (Unfortunately apartment rents have already risen since the time this video was made.) At the same time, you’ll get great tips on where to find today, for example, the city’s trendiest cafes, the most stunning malls, world-class luxury brands, or a vibrant nightlife.
The video below, in turn, will tell you about the districts and neighborhoods on the Asian side. I strongly recommend that when you come to Istanbul, don’t forget the Asian side. Because if you haven’t experienced it, I don’t think you’ve seen the real Istanbul – or the most colorful and craziest part of it.
Enjoy Istanbul’s diverse areas, atmospheres and views – you’ll find it all in Istanbul!