Arnavutköy (meaning "Albanian village" in Turkish[2][3]) is a historic neighbourhood in Istanbul, Turkey renowned for its wooden Ottoman mansions and seafood restaurants, as well as the campus of the prestigious Robert College with its historic buildings. It is part of the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, and is located between Ortaköy and Bebek on the European shoreline of the Bosphorus strait.

View of Arnavutköy from the Bosphorus
View of Arnavutköy from the Bosphorus
Arnavutköy is located in Istanbul
Coordinates: 41°4′5″N 29°2′35″E / 41.06806°N 29.04306°E / 41.06806; 29.04306Coordinates: 41°4′5″N 29°2′35″E / 41.06806°N 29.04306°E / 41.06806; 29.04306
 • Urban
 • District


Robert College, Gould Hall

In 1468, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror brought Albanians and installed them in the districts of Istanbul where among other places, they founded Arnavutköy, a place named after them meaning Albanian village.[2][4][3]

In 1863, Robert College, the oldest American school outside the United States, was established in its current campus which originally stretched from Arnavutköy to the vicinity of Bebek and Rumelihisarı. In 1971, a section of this campus became part of Boğaziçi University, which was formerly the college section of the school. The high school section, formerly named Robert Academy (RA) is still an American school and is located in the Arnavutköy side of the historic Robert College campus.

View of Arnavutköy from the Bosphorus

According to the Salname, the total population of the district was 7,482 and ethnographically consisting of 5,973 Rûms, 493 Muslims, 342 Armenians, 32 Jews and 642 people of other nationality in 1912.[5][6]

Arnavutköy was historically famous for its Ottoman strawberry, a less juicy and smaller kind than the usual strawberries found throughout Turkey. To date, some strawberry fields survive in the inland of the district and every spring local groceries are pillaged by strawberry lovers.


Arnavutköy harmoniously represents the coexistence of citizens from different ethnic and religious backgrounds, as it is one of many historic neighbourhoods of Istanbul where one can find a mosque, a church and a synagogue within close proximity.

The sidewalk by the sea is always full of individuals fishing, while small fishing boats frequently pass by Arnavutköy's coastline on the Bosphorus. The fresh fish that is caught is sometimes sold to the seafood restaurants in the area.


The campus of Robert College, which originally also comprised the present-day Boğaziçi University, formerly stretched between the neighbourhoods of Arnavutköy and Bebek.[7]

The American Academy for Girls (today the Üsküdar American Academy) moved to Arnavutköy in 1914, and later moved to the Bağlarbaşı neighbourhood in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul, on the Asian side of the city, in 1923.[8]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  2. ^ a b Kreiser, Klaus (2009). Istanbul: ein historischer Stadtführer. Verlag CH Beck. p. 20. ISBN 9783406590634. "Europäische Migranten sind verantwortlich für Ortsnamen wie Arnavutköy («Albanerdorf»)"
  3. ^ a b Coşkun, Burhanettin; Yolcu, Tuğba (28–29 April 2016). "Küreselleşen dünyada göç sorunları ve Türkiye'nin bölgesel rolü [Migration issues in the globalizing world and Turkey's regional role]". Aralik University: 97. Retrieved 12 June 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) "İlk defa Türkiye'ye Fatih Sultan Mehmet zamanında getirilen Arnavutlar, 1468 senesinde İstanbul’un Arnavutköy semtine yerleştirilmişlerdir. Arnavutköy, 1468 yılında Arnavut göçmenler tarafından oluşturulmuştur. Kültürümüzün temel taşlarından olan semtlere (Arnavutköy, Arnavutkaldırımı)"
  4. ^ Çebi, Emrin (2017). "The role of Turkish NGOs in social cohesion of Syrians". Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (Special Issue-1 Middle East and Migration): 137. doi:10.26513/tocd.312245. "Some examples of prominent migrations such as migration of Albanians who were placed in Arnavutköy in 1468"
  5. ^ Reşat Ekrem Koçu, İstanbul Ansiklopedisi, vol. 2 (İstanbul 1958-1971), p. 1.041
  6. ^ Papastratis Th., Γειτονιές του Βοσπόρου [Neighborhoods of Bosporus], Athens, 2003, p. 72
  7. ^ Index page. Robert College. 31 May 2001. Retrieved on 2 June 2019. "Istanbul Amerikan Robert Lisesi P.K. 1 Arnavutkoy 80820 Istanbul, Turkey"
  8. ^ "About UAA - History". Üsküdar American Academy. Retrieved 2019-06-02.

External linksEdit