Fatih (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈfaːtih]) is a district of and a municipality (belediye) in Istanbul, Turkey, and home to almost all of the provincial authorities (including the governor's office, police headquarters, metropolitan municipality and tax office) but not the courthouse. It encompasses the peninsula coinciding with old Constantinople. In 2009, the district of Eminönü, which had been a separate municipality located at the tip of the peninsula, was once again remerged into Fatih because of its small population. Fatih is bordered by the Golden Horn to the north and the Sea of Marmara to the south, while the Western border is demarked by the Theodosian wall and the east by the Bosphorus Strait.

Hagia Sophia in Fatih
Hagia Sophia in Fatih
Location of Fatih in Istanbul
Location of Fatih in Istanbul
Fatih is located in Turkey
Fatih is located in Istanbul
Fatih is located in Europe
Coordinates: 41°01′03″N 28°56′26″E / 41.01746°N 28.94053°E / 41.01746; 28.94053Coordinates: 41°01′03″N 28°56′26″E / 41.01746°N 28.94053°E / 41.01746; 28.94053[1]
Named forConstantine I (Constantinople)
Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Fatih)
 • MayorMehmet Ergün Turan (AKP)
 • KaymakamHasan Karakaş
 • District13.08 km2 (5.05 sq mi)
 • District
 • District density33,000/km2 (85,000/sq mi)
Websitewww.fatih.gov.tr Edit this at Wikidata
Fatih Istanbul by Oldypak lp photo
Panorama of Istanbul taken from Galata tower. From left to right you can see the Asian side of the city, Topkapi palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Galata bridge and New Mosque.


Byzantine eraEdit

Map of the city in the Byzantine period

Historic Byzantine districts encompassed by present-day Fatih include: Exokiónion, Aurelianae, Xerólophos, ta Eleuthérou, Helenianae, ta Dalmatoú, Sígma, Psamátheia, ta Katakalón, Paradeísion, ta Olympíou, ta Kýrou, Peghé, Rhéghion, ta Elebíchou, Leomákellon, ta Dexiokrátous, Petríon or Pétra, Phanàrion, Exi Mármara (Altımermer), Philopátion, Deúteron and Vlachernaí.

Hagia Sophia was built in 537, with minarets added in the 15th–16th centuries when it became a mosque.

Ottoman periodEdit

the Blue Mosque is a marvel of the Ottoman architecture in Istanbul
the German Fountain is located in the Sultanahmet Square of Istanbul

The name "Fatih" comes from the Ottoman emperor Fatih Sultan Mehmed (Mehmed the Conqueror), and means "Conqueror" in Turkish, originally from Arabic. The Fatih Mosque built by Mehmed II is in this district, while his resting place is next to the mosque and is much visited. It was on the ruins of the Church of the Holy Apostles, destroyed by earthquakes and years of war, that the Fatih Mosque was built, and around the mosque a large madrasa complex.

View of the Süleymaniye Mosque from the Golden Horn.

Immediately after the conquest, groups of Islamic scholars transformed the major churches of Hagia Sophia and the Pantocrator (today the Zeyrek Mosque) into mosques, but the Fatih Mosque and its surrounding complex was the first purpose-built Islamic seminary within the city walls. The building of the mosque complex ensured that the area continued to thrive beyond the conquest; markets grew up to support the thousands of workers involved in the building and to supply them with materials, and then to service the students in the seminary. The area quickly became a Turkish neighbourhood with a particularly pious character due to the seminary. Some of this piety has endured until today.

View of the Topkapı Palace from the Golden Horn.

Following the conquest, the Edirnekapı (meaning Edirne Gate) gate in the city walls became the major exit to Thrace, and this rejuvenated the neighbourhoods overlooking the Golden Horn. The Fatih Mosque was on the road to Edirnekapı and the Fatih district became the most populous area of the city in the early Ottoman period and in the 16th century more mosques and markets were built in this area, including: Iskender Pasha Mosque, once famous as a centre for the Naqshbandi order in Turkey); Hirka-i-Sharif Mosque, which houses the cloak of the Prophet Muhammad (The Mosque is in common use but the cloak is only on show during the month of Ramadan; the Jerrahi Tekke; The Sunbul Efendi Tekke and the Ramazan Efendi Tekke both in the Kocamustafapaşa district and the Vefa Kilise Mosque, originally a Byzantine church. The last four were named after the founders of various Sufi orders, and Sheikh Ebü’l Vefa in particular was of major importance in the city and was very fond of Fatih. Many other mosques, schools, baths, and fountains in the area were built by military leaders and officials in the Ottoman court.

From the 18th century onwards, Istanbul started to grow outside the walls, and then began the transformation of Fatih into the heavily residential district, dominated by concrete apartment housing, that it remains today. This process was accelerated over the years by fires which destroyed whole neighbourhoods of wooden houses, and a major earthquake in 1766, which destroyed the Fatih Mosque and many of the surrounding buildings (subsequently rebuilt). Fires continued to ravage the old city, and the wide roads that run through the area today are a legacy of all that burning. There are few wooden buildings left in Fatih today, although right up until the 1960s, the area was covered with narrow streets of wooden buildings. Nowadays, the district is largely made up of narrow streets with tightly packed 5- or 6-floor apartment buildings.

The confectioner Hafiz Mustafa 1864 was founded in 1864 by Hadji İsmail Hakkı Beyat what is today Hamidiye street in the district during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz.[4]

Fatih todayEdit

Balat colourful houses in the historic center
the Obelisk of Theodosius, also known as 'Hippodrome of Constantinople' in Sultanahmet Square.

At present, Fatih contains areas including Aksaray, Fındıkzade, Çapa, and Vatan Caddesi that are more cosmopolitan than the conservative image which the district has in the eyes of many people. With Eminönü, which was again officially a part of the Fatih district until 1928, and with its historical Byzantine walls, conquered by Mehmed II, Fatih is the "real" Istanbul of the old times, before the recent enlargement of the city that began in the 19th century.

The area has become more and more crowded from the 1960s onwards, and a large portion of the middle-class residents have moved to the Anatolian side and other parts of the city. Fatih today is largely a working-class district, but being a previously wealthy area, it is well-resourced, with a more thoroughly established community than the newly built areas such as Bağcılar or Esenler to the west, which are almost entirely inhabited by post-1980s migrants who came to the city in desperate circumstances. Fatih was built with some degree of central planning by the municipality.

Istanbul University which was founded in 1453 is in Fatih. In addition, since 1586, the Orthodox Christian Patriarchate of Constantinople has had its headquarters in the relatively modest Church of St. George in the Fener neighborhood of Fatih.

Originally built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and later rebuilt by Justinian the Great after the Nika riots in 532, the Hagia Irene is an Eastern Orthodox Church located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul. It is one of the few Byzantine era churches that were never converted into mosques; during the Ottoman period it served as Topkapı's principal armoury.
Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque in Aksaray, Istanbul.

Fatih has many theatres, including the famous Reşat Nuri Sahnesi. The area is well-served with a number of schools, hospitals and public amenities in general. A number of Istanbul's longest-established hospitals are in Fatih, including the Istanbul University teaching hospitals of Çapa and Cerrahpaşa, the Haseki Public Hospital, the Samatya Public Hospital, and the Vakıf Gureba Public Hospital. A tramway runs from the docks at Sirkeci, through Sultanahmet, and finally to Aksaray, which is a part of Fatih.

Also, besides the headquarters, some main units of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, including the city's fire department, are based in Fatih.

Fatih has many historic and modern libraries, including the Edirnekapı Halk Kütüphanesi, Fener Rum Patrikhanesi Kütüphanesi (the Library of the Patriarchate), Hekimoğlu Ali Paşa Halk Kütüphanesi, İstanbul University Library, İstanbul University Cerrahpaşa Tıp Fakültesi Kütüphanesi, İstanbul Üniversitesi Kardiyoloji Ensitütüsü Kütüphanesi, İstanbul Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Hulusi Behçet Kitaplığı, İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi Kadın Eserleri Kütüphanesi, Millet Kütüphanesi, Mizah Kütüphanesi, Murat Molla Halk Kütüphanesi, Ragıppaşa Kütüphanesi, and Yusufpaşa Halk Kütüphanesi.

the Eurasia Tunnel connecting Fatih to Üsküdar.

On the other hand, today Fatih is known as one of the most conservative and peaceful religious areas of Istanbul because of the religious residents of the Çarşamba quarter which is essentially a very minor part of this historical district. Çarşamba is famous with bearded men in heavy coats, the traditional baggy 'shalwar' trousers and Islamic turban; while women dressed in full black gowns are a common sight as this area is popular with members of a Naqshbandi Sufi order affiliated to Sheikh Mahmut Ustaosmanoğlu. Conservative political parties always do well in this area.

Küçükçekmece, Başakşehir, Bağcılar, Gaziosmanpaşa, Esenler, Bayrampaşa, Zeytinburnu, and Fatih are home to asylum seekers of Syrian origin.[5]


Fatih experiences a Mediterranean climate (Csa/Cs) according to both Köppen and Trewartha climate classifications, with cool winters and warm to hot summers. It is in USDA hardiness zone 9a and AHS heat zone 4.[6]

Climate data for Fatih
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.9
Average low °C (°F) 3.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 101
Source: [7]


There are 57 neighbourhoods in Fatih as of 2017.[8]

  • Aksaray
  • Akşemsettin
  • Alemdar
  • Ali Kuşcu
  • Atikali
  • Ayvansaray
  • Balabanağa
  • Balat
  • Beyazıt
  • Binbirdirek
  • Cankurtaran
  • Cerrahpaşa
  • Cibali
  • Demirtaş
  • Dervişali
  • Emin Sinan
  • Hacıkadın
  • Haseki Sultan
  • Hırka-İ Şerif
  • Hobyar
  • Hoca Gıyasettin
  • Hoca Paşa
  • İskenderpaşa
  • Kalenderhane
  • Karagümrük
  • Katip Kasım
  • Kemal Paşa
  • Kocamustafapaşa
  • Küçük Ayasofya
  • Mercan
  • Mesih Paşa
  • Mevlanakapı
  • Mimar Hayrettin
  • Mimar Kemalettin
  • Molla Gürani
  • Mollafeneri
  • Mollahüsrev
  • Muhsine Hatun
  • Nişanca
  • Rüstem Paşa
  • Saraç İshak
  • Sarıdemir
  • Seyyid Ömer
  • Silivrikapı
  • Sultan Ahmet
  • Sururi
  • Süleymaniye
  • Sümbül Efendi
  • Şehremini
  • Şehsuvarbey
  • Tahtakale
  • Taya Hatun
  • Topkapı
  • Yavuz Sinan
  • Yavuz Sultan Selim
  • Yedikule
  • Zeyrek

Historical sitesEdit

Theodosius Cistern is located in Fatih
Bulgarian church of St. Stephen in Istanbul
Nuruosmaniye Mosque
Zeyrek Mosque (full name in Turkish: Molla Zeyrek Camii) or Pantokrator Monastery (in Turkish: Pantokrator Manastırı), is a significant mosque in Istanbul, made of two former Eastern Orthodox churches and a chapel.



The offices of the magazine Servet-i Fünun were in "Stamboul" (what is now Fatih district) during the magazine's existence.[10]

Visitor attractionsEdit

Today, there are still remnants of the sea walls along the Golden Horn and along the Marmara shore, to give a sense of the shape of the old walled city. There are also a number of important architectural structures in the Fatih district, including the Valens Aqueduct across the Atatürk Bulvarı, the fortress on the city walls at Yedikule, the Byzantine Palace of the Porphyrogenitus, the Roman column of Marcian, the Fethiye Cami (the former Byzantine church of Christ Pammakaristos), the Kariye Camii (the former Byzantine church of the Chora), Gül Camii (another former Byzantine church), Fenari Isa Camisi (a complex of two Byzantine churches), the Greek Patriarchate with the Church of St. George in the Fener district, the Church of St. Stephen ("The Iron Church"), the Yavuz Selim Camii, the House-Museum of Dimitrie Cantemir, and the Fatih Mosque itself.

The tombs of some of the famous Ottoman sultans are in Fatih. These include Mehmed II 'the Conqueror' (Fatih Sultan Mehmed), Selim I (Yavuz Sultan Selim), Suleyman the Magnificent, and Abdul Hamid Khan, as well as other leading statesmen of the Ottoman Empire, including Gazi Osman Pasha. Fatih also has a collection of various cuisines (Syrian, Korean, Indian).

International relationsEdit

Fatih is twinned with:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Fatih, Turkey in Geonames.org (cc-by)
  2. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Sweets that saw the birth of modern Turkey". June 2019.
  5. ^ HAYATA DESTEK (31 August 2013). Syrian Refugees in Turkey (PDF) (Report). SUPPORT TO LIFE. pp. 4–5.
  6. ^ "Bitki Soğuğa ve Sıcağa Dayanıklılık". www.mgm.gov.tr. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  7. ^ "Fatih - Weather History & Climate Data - Meteostat". meteostat.net. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  8. ^ Turkish Ministry of the Interior. "Civilian Administrative Units in Turkey" (in Turkish). Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  9. ^ Turkish Statistical Institute
  10. ^ "Not stated". Servet-i Fünun (1332). 1917-01-04.
  11. ^ "Wiesbaden's international city relations". Retrieved 24 December 2012.

External linksEdit