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Taksim Square

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Taksim Square, in Istanbul, is a vibrant hub where history and modernity collide. Iconic for its Gezi Park and the bustling Istiklal Avenue, it’s a symbol of Turkey’s rich culture and social life. The symbolic heart of modern İstanbul, this busy square is named after the stone taksim (reservoir) on its western side, once part of the city’s old water-conduit system. The main water line from the Belgrade Forest, north of the city, was laid to this point in 1732 by Sultan Mahmut I (r 1730–54). Branch lines then led from the taksim to other parts of the city.

Hardly a triumph of urban design, the square is a bit of a chaotic mess. At its western end, the İstiklal Caddesi tram circumnavigates the Cumhuriyet Anıtı (Republic Monument), created by an Italian architect-sculptor team in 1928. It features Atatürk, his assistant and successor İsmet İnönü and other revolutionary leaders.

In the middle is the metro running up to Levent 4, and the funicular tram running down to Kabataş.

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