Ortakoy is one of the nicest neighborhoods of Besiktas district in the European side of Istanbul on Bosphorus Strait, right under the first Bosphorus bridge. In Turkish it means “middle village” because it was in the middle of the strait, and during the Ottoman period it was just a small fishing village and a resort for the Ottoman dignitaries because of its attractive location. After many years, the district is still a popular spot for local people and foreign visitors.
Ortakoy has many cafeterias and tea houses around a square near the water or in the alleys, moderate or expensive restaurants, bars, small shops and a market which gets very lively during the weekends. In the summer time, there are even small size concerts or street shows etc. Many world class night clubs are also in this area.
Ortakoy center lies within a triangle of a Muslim mosque, Christian church and a Jewish synagogue witnessing the religious freedom and mosaic in Turkey as a secular state. Other interesting sites within Ortakoy district are; Ciragan Palace Hotel which used to be a palace, Kabatas High School from late Ottoman period, Feriye Restaurant which used be the hunting mansion of the sultans.