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Ishak Ağa Fountain

Beykoz Meydanı, Beykoz, Istanbul

By boat or bus to Beykoz (the fountain faces the ferry station). A motor dolmuş plies between Yeniköy and Beykoz every 20 minutes during the day.

Also known as the On Çeşme (the Ten Fountains), this elaborate loggia fountain dates from a 1746 restoration of an earlier, probably 16th-century fountain. A primary school once occupied the first floor but burnt down before the First World War.

In recent years the city fathers, busy developing and spoiling the hinterland, cut the spring off from its original source in the hills behind Beykoz, presumably during yet more building works. For some time, a notice by the muhtar’s office pinned to the wall complained that despite repeated formal requests, the municipality had made no attempt to restore the connection. Mahmud I, who succeeded his uncle Ahmet III, the great Tulip Period sultan, after the Patrona Halil revolution, and continued his enlightened development of the Bosphorus by ordering fountain-building on an unprecedented scale, would have been most upset. One sometimes feels as though Patrona Halil eventually won the day!

But the fountain gives the busy little meydan, with its low umbrella palms, great charm. Have börek at Çardak or a home-made vegetable stew at Kök Kardeşleri, then continue up Şahinkaya Caddesi, turning sharp left to reach a stunning view down the Bosphorus. You can also take a stroll up through the lovely woods at Beykoz, or hop on a bus or into a taxi for the short ride to Anadolukavağı, calling at Yuşa Tepe, Joshua’s Hill, along the way.

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Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
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