While I was walking from Sarıyer to Büyükdere, I took these photos on December 26, 2021. Sarıyer and the Bosphorus at a winter evening.

Evening at the Sarıyer shore
Evening at the Sarıyer shore, Istanbul. December 26, 2021.
Evening at the Sarıyer shore
Evening at the Sarıyer shore, Istanbul. December 26, 2021. The restaurants are getting prepared for the celebrations of new year’s eve.
The Bosphorus from Sarıyer
The Bosphorus from Sarıyer

Sarıyer

Sarıyer (means literally the “yellow land” in English) is the northernmost district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European side of the city. The Sarıyer district is a huge area consisting of the villages on the European side of the Bosphorus from Rumelifeneri (Rumeli Lighthouse), down through Tarabya, Yeniköy, İstinye, Emirgan to Rumelihisarı. It has a population of approximately 260,000 (as of 2021).

The village of Bahçeköy (literally means Garden-Ville) and part of the Belgrade Forest is also within the district’s boundaries.

The origins of Sarıyer name

There are different explanations about the origin of the name of Sarıyer, which literally means the “Yellow-Land” in English as explained above. But, most probably, some of these explanations are (or maybe all of them) probably fictive. Here are the explanations:

  • Two blond soldiers of Fatih Sultan Mehmed (Fatih the Conqueror) were buried here, next to the Central Mosque, so the region was called the “Yellow Land” after losing its original saying “yellow soldiers of Fatih”.
  • Because of the gold that the rich Egyptian tourists spent in the region, which has long been a picnic area, especially the Belgrade Forest.
  • There were gold mines in the district (which is not true, there were coal mines, not gold).
  • The blonde girl that Sultan has fallen in love with. This tale also suggests that the original name of the district was “Sarıyar” (sarı yar), which means “the blonde beloved”.
  • There are a lot of Spartium flowers (also known as the Spanish broom, rush broom, or weaver’s broom) grow in the area. Some sources suggest that these yellow flowers are the source of the name of the district.
Spartium junceum
Spartium junceum near the Dalia beach road, Istanbul. Smells great! Some sources suggest that these yellow flowers are the source of the name of the district.

Sources

Published by Özgür Nevres

I am a software developer, a former road racing cyclist, and a science enthusiast. Also an animal lover! I write about the city of Istanbul on this website. I live in Istanbul since 1992.

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