Istiklal Caddesi and Taksim Square
Beyoglu District, Republic Monument, Istiklal Avenue
Istiklal Caddesi in the Beyoglu district is a very long, 1.4 km, pedestrian street and main shopping street of Istanbul where most important events take place. It features historical Ottoman buildings in different styles, red trams, music stores, boutiques, the flower passage, restaurants, cinemas, galleries etc. It starts in the Karaköy and ends at Taksim Square, the heart of modern Istanbul. Taksim Square is a hub for communications, with the main metro station, a center for demonstrations and some highrise hotels. The Republic Monument is situated there. This part of Istanbul is located North of the Golden Horn, connected with the historical area via the Galata Bridge.
When we visited Taksim Square, we witnessed demonstrations and very aggressive policemen. We also had to flee, as we sut at the monument, but suddenly the policemen came towards the peaceful demonstrators, and the tourists! On 28 Mauy 2013 the demonstrations culminated and spread all over Turkey. It begun as a protest towards replacing a park, Taksim Gezi Park, with a shopping mall.