History of Sariyer

Name of Sarıyer

The name of the province which is Sarıyer today, has changed from Simas to Skletrinas, and later to Mezarburnu (Mesarburnu), Altınyer, Sarıyar and it finally became Sarıyer.  The first name of Sarıyer, which is Simas, is known to mean “Holy Mother”, however it is stated as “Blessed/Jolly River” or “Blessed/Jolly Water” in some sources.
There are two stories about the name of the province: According to the first history, since gold and copper was mined in the province for years, there were yellow cliffs between the places which are called Maden District and Şifa Suyu today. Therefore first of all the name of the province was Sarıya, and then changed to Sarıyer. Another story is that the name Sarıyer is taken from a person named “Sarıbaba” whose tomb is in the province.
Short History
In old ages, Sarıyer had many empty lands and hills, and was not among the main settlement areas in the Antiquity and Byzantium age. There was small settlement in the shores in the Byzantium Empire times. These places consisted of certain springs, churches, old ports, cisterns and some small settlements with a few houses around old castles. The people of such areas lived mostly on fishing.
After the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottoman Empire in 1453, settlement started in Sarıyer as the immigrants from the Anatolia and Islands moved there.  Many cisterns, hunting manors, mansions and waterside mansions were built by the headliners of the Ottoman time.
The development of the small villages at the Bosporus shores started in the 16th and 17th centuries. In this era, Sarıyer, Yeniköy and Rumeli Hisarı became developed villages. In the 18th century, mansions of certain people from the palace started to be built on this coast. The settlement of some of the non-Muslim families with the permission of the Sultan, also took place in the same century.
In the beginning of the 19th century, some villagers were brought from Thrace to Istanbul to teach serge and fez painting and they settled between Baltalimanı and Emirgan. The area between Baltalimanı and Emirgan, where these villagers settled, was called Boyacıköy (Painters’ village).
The Bosporus coast districts of Sarıyer, were in the nature of summer resorts until 1960’s. The empty areas were opened for settlement especially after the roads were built and the coastline was expanded. Thereby the foundations of today’s settlement were laid: Mansions of high income groups on the shores and nearby areas, shanty towns on the hillsides…
Geographical Location
Sarıyer, located in the north of the European side of the Istanbul Strait, is the neighbour of the Black Sea in the north, Eyüp in the west, Beşiktaş and Şişli in the south. The province is consisted of the hillside at the most eastern of Çatalca peninsula, the Istanbul strait on one side, and parts descending in the Black Sea.
Settlement lies on the shore in Sarıyer which has a coast in the Black Sea and the Bosporus. The limit on the coast starts from Aşiyan and continues until the Black Sea shore. Even though Sarıyer is the centre, Emirgan, İstinye, Yeniköy, Tarabya and Büyükdere, which are along the Bosphorus from Rumelihisarı, are among important districts.
While the coasts of the province have steep slopes and forested, they also have sandy beaches. The Black Sea coast is indented in the east of Kumköy, but even in the west. The bays are located mostly at the mouth of the streams.
At the entrance of Istanbul strait from the Black Sea, Garipçe and Rumelifeneri castles welcome you. The reefs in the offshore waters are called Öreke Islands. The shores of the Bosporus are rather indented. The most important bays on the shore are Büyükdere, Tarabya and İstinye; and the most important cape if Yeniköy.
In the adjacent area, there is Kilyos (Kumköy) and Kısırkaya on the Black Sea coast, and Gümüşdere, Uskumruköy, Zekeriyaköy, Demirciköy ve Bahçeköy on the interior land. There is Rumelifeneri at the entrance of the Bosporus, and Garipçe Village in the foreground.
Like for Istanbul, it is also difficult to assess Sarıyer with regard to a specific climate type. The features of our province are different from many settlements in the same latitude due to its geographical location and physical properties.
It has the climate characteristics of the Bosporus, Mediterranean and Middle Europe, the northern part has the characteristics of the Western Black Sea.
The anticyclone and cyclone currents on the coast bring dry weather conditions and depressions bring plenty of rain to the region. While there is plenty of rain during winter, the winds are steady and falls are scarce in summer.
The average temperature in our province is around +20 degrees, the maximum measurable degree is +40. The number of snowy days is 10-12 days in our province where the average amount of rain is 727 kg.
Location and Area
Sarıyer province is located at the point 41degrees north and 29 degrees east, the total settlement and adjacent area is 14,600 hectares.
Rivers of Sarıyer
Sarıyer is famous for its rivers which meet most of the water needs in the Byzantium and Ottoman times. Today, there are various-size rivers in Sarıyer, which no longer has the medicinal springs. Some of these rivers pour into the Bosporus and some of them into the Black Sea.
Rivers pouring into the Golden Horn: Göksu River, Şeytandere, Ayazağa River, Kağıthane River. Rivers pouring into the Bosporus and Black Sea: Mandıra River, Sarıyer River, Büyükdere, İstinye River, Çelebi River, Tarabya River, Bakla River, Maltız River, Tuz River, Kömdere, Kurşunsuyu, Çimendere, Sipahi River, Uzundere, Keten River, İskender River, Kavak River, Çırçır Suyu Kestane Suyu and Baltalimanı River.
 Dams and Aqueducts
Among the important historic buildings from the Ottoman times, there are dams and aqueducts in Sarıyer, which has an important potential with regard to spring waters.
The dams in Sarıyer Belgrad Forest, which are known to be open water dams and were built in the Ottoman times to collect spring and rain waters, are among the places worth visiting.
Sarıyer was in the boundaries of Beyoğlu district and Çatalca province until 1930. The settlements in the boundaries of Sarıyer in the first years of the Republic, were as villages whose development was suspended. The villages in the country were affiliated to Kilyos district, and Kilyos was affiliated to Çatalca Province; and the region on the Bosporus shore was affiliated to Beyoğlu province.
With the administrative arrangement made in 1930 Sarıyer province was founded.The first municipalelections were held in 1984. Bahçeköy district which was a municipality in the 1990's, was abolished and was made a neighbourhood in 2008.
As a provincial municipality, Sarıyer is composed of 27 neighbourhoods and 8 villages. Villages: Kumköy (Kilyos), Demirciköy, Garipçe, Gümüşdere, Zekeriyaköy, Kısırkaya, Rumelifeneri and Uskumruköy.
Population as per Years
1940      32,515                  1945      29,984                  1950      32,114
1955      40,012                  1960      48,990                  1965      52,445
1970      67,902                  1975      85,262                  1980      117,659
1985      147,503                1990      171,872                1997      229,600                2000      242,543
According to the latest census held in 2007, the population of Sarıyer is 276,407. Approximately 10% of the population (28,774) lives in the villages. However, the population of the province has approached 400.000. The annual population growth rate is below Istanbul average.
Marital Status
According to the data of 2008, the number of married people in our province is 134,153. 67,035 of these are female, and 67,118 are male.
67,173 people, of whom 28,725 are female and 38,448 are male, never married.
Of the divorced 9,246 people, 5,735 are female and 3,511 are male.
Distribution of the Population
According to the 2008 TurkSTAT (Turkish Statistical Institute) data, in Sarıyer 252,986 of the total population live in the province centre, and 24, 386 live in villages. According to the 2008 TurkSTAT (Turkish Statistical Institute) data, in Sarıyer 137,816 of the total population are female, 139,556 are male.
 Almost half of the total population is young and capable of work.
Socio-Economic Life
Since Sarıyer province was regarded as a summer resort for years, industry has never had an important role in the province economy.
In the previous years, matchstick, cable and crane plants were founded in the province and a shipyard was founded in İstinye. However, the plants were moved to other places and the shipyard was removed. Therefore, the economically active section of the population mostly works out of the province.
The most important economic activity of the province is service sector. Mostly, The fish restaurants along the shore and other workplaces such as restaurants and bars attract interest.
Headquarters of many holdings, the only stock exchange of Turkey, ISE, the Turkish Football Federation and the embassies of USA, Austria, China and Iraq are located within the boundaries of Sarıyer province.
Settlement in Sarıyer
On the shores of Sarıyer, there are mansions, villas and housing complexes and shanty towns on the hills. Modern villages have been built in the north of the province.
This difference in the settlement types has brought cultural and social diversity in Sarıyer.
Community Life in Sarıyer
Turks, Armenians, Greeks have lived together in harmony in Sarıyer, which is one of the most beautiful provinces of Istanbul, the former capital of the Byzantium and Ottoman Empires and they presented one of the best samples of the culture mosaic.
Today, it is possible to see the traces of these cultures with regard to agricultural and urban texture in districts such as Yeni Mahalle, Büyükdere, Tarabya.
Romans – the colour of Sarıyer
Sarıyer has seen the most of the migrations to Istanbul throughout history. Çayırbaşı, contributing to the colour of Sarıyer and known previously as the Neighbourhood of the Immigrants, was established thanks to these migrations.
It is possible to see mosques, churches and synagogues in Sarıyer which has succeeded to be the centre of various beliefs throughout history.
Sarıyer has the potential to become the education province. As of 2009 there are 47 preschool, 50 elementary and 31 high schools in our province.
Sarıyer is a province which hosts the highest number of universities, in Turkey. In addition to ITU, Boğaziçi, Koç universities, certain departments of Marmara, Işık, Beykent, Yıldız Technical universities and Faculty of Forestry are located in the boundaries of Sarıyer.
Education Status
According to 2008 data, the number of literate people above 6 years is 216,951. 105,946 of these are female, and 111,005 are male.
The number of illiterate people in our province is 7,893, of which 6.602 are female and 1.291 are male.
There is no information about the education status of 30,174 people in our province.
Sarıyer has a location which is appropriate for health tourism with its forest, sea and cleaner air compared to other centres of Istanbul. There are four hospitals (İstinye State Hospital, Acıbadem Maslak Hospital, Metin Sabancı Baltalimanı Osteopathic Training and Research Hospital, İsmail Akgün State Hospital), 23 public health centres, 99 pharmacies and 7 polyclinics in our province.
Sarıyer is a province which has a big potential in sports. It has the potential ripe for development in every sports branch, especially football. However, this has not been evaluated even though it has great potential for sea sports.
There are one professional, 22 amateur and one municipality sports club in the province.
Sarıyer Sports Club, established in 1940, was in the Super league between 1982 and 1994 and in the 1996-1997 years. This season it plays in the 2nd League.
There is extensive amateur sports culture. Sarıyer Municipality provides all kinds of support for amateur clubs.
Sarıyer Municipality Sports Club serves in many branches of sports for the purpose of encouraging children and the young people for sports. Thereby, many sportsmen who have international awards, have been raised.
Important sports centres of the province: Yusuf Ziya Öniş, Orhan Keçeli, Çayırbaşı ve Kilyos stadiums, Mersinli Ahmet Camp Training Centre, Sarıyer Sportshall, Enka Sports Club Sadi Gülçelik Sports Facility and Ayhan Şahenk sportshall where Darüşşafaka, Efes Pilsen basketball teams play their game.
There are 8 Equestrian clubs in Sariyer Disrict. These clubs one of the exclusive clubs in Turkey.
 These are;
       Galatasaray Sports Club Equestrian Branch
       Sipahi Ocagi Equestrian Club
       Istanbul Equestrian sports club
       Fule Equestrian
       Horse Lovers Club Association of Social Assistance and Solidarity
       Tulya Kurtulan Equestrian Club
       Göçmen's Ranch Equestrian Facility 
Sarıyer has a potential appropriate for all kinds of tourism. In addition to its natural, historical and cultural values, it is also among the provinces important for sea tourism.
Since it is a very old settlement region, Sarıyer has many important historical buildings from the Byzantium and Ottoman times. The province has precious historical heritage with its historical buildings, the mosques, fountains, lodges, cisterns, aqueducts, city walls and castles, tombs, palaces, mansions and waterside mansions.
Sarıyer was famous for its beaches for years. Today, of the beaches on the Bosporus shores, only Altınkum and Tarabya are actively used. While the beaches on the Bosporus shores have been closed due to the increase in the sea pollution, today the shores of Black Sea have become tourist attractions. The shores in Black Sea, especially Kilyos attract the attention of especially local tourists.
One of the important features of Sarıyer is the bars, fish restaurants, hotels and other entertainment venues which are located along the Bosporus. Sarıyer, which is also an attraction with these, is open for development.
Another important potential with regard to tourism is forests. Belgrad Forest takes the attention of the public with its walking routes and garden restaurants at the weekends.
Even though Sarıyer has a rich and valuable potential for tourism, its tourism infrastructure cannot meet the demand. Today, there are four hotels, three pensions, 12 beaches, 174 restaurants, three parking lots, four cinemas, theatres and cultural centres.
Brand values of Sarıyer
Sarıyer Pastry
It is a crunchy and light pastry. It is made of dough sheets, minced meat and oil, and it has onions, parsley, currant and pine nuts.
Emirgan Tea
One of the most important shore districts of Sarıyer, Emirgan is famous for its tea in addition to its historical texture, shore and woods. Drinking tea has become an important town ritual in Emirgan.
Sarıyer Pudding
Our province has been famous for its pudding shops since the first years of the Republic. Pudding, whose main ingredients are milk, rice flour and vanilla, is among the important values of Sarıyer. 
Fish Restaurants
The fish restaurants in Sarıyer, known for fish and fish restaurants, are among its important brand values. One of the things that come to people’s minds when they think of Sarıyer, is fish and fish restaurants.
Sarıyer has been regarded as a fishing town, and fish and fishery have become the symbol of the province. Fishing is an important and old source of income for our province. Sarıyer is the first province remembered for fishing. For some period, majority of the fish needs of Istanbul were met by fisherman from Sarıyer. It is also requested by the people that fishery which has been neglected for the recent years, gains its importance again.
All kinds of fishery from hand-line fishing to the latest technology offshore fishery, are carried out in Sarıyer. Fishing season is divided into two as summer and winter. “Lagoon fishery” which was done many years ago, is about to be extinct.
Sarıyer is rich in fish types. In addition to the local fish, the number of nomadic fish is also high. In addition to the local fish such as horse mackerel, pickerel, scorpion fish, sand smelt, gray mullet, haddock, sprat fish, red gumard, red mullet; bluefish, bonito, big bonito, swordfish, tuna fish, seabass, turbot, Spanish mackerel, sardines, anchovy, mackerel are among the important species of nomadic fish
The residents of Sarıyer use sea and land routes for transportation. Our province is one of the luckiest provinces of Istanbul for sea transportation. However, as in other parts of Istanbul, the sea transportation has been neglected in the determination of transportation policies, and land route transportation has become more important.
The increase in the number of vehicles in parallel to the intensity of the population, leads to problems both access to the province and for the urban transportation. Sea transportation is provided with the boats of IDO from Sarıyer, Rumelikavağı, Yeniköy, Emirgan, İstinye and Büyükdere ports.
Sarıyer is the final point connecting the west Istanbul to the Black Sea via land route. There are three main land routes in the province:
1-Coastal road along the Bosporus
2-Büyükdere Road from Zincirlikuyu and to the coastal road
3-Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge whose western end is in Rumelihisarı, is a west-east direction highway connecting the city with the Anatolian side.
  Şükrü Genç is the sixth mayor of Sarıyer, which has been administered by different managements since it was founded in 1984.
Sarıyer Municipality provides services for Sarıyer with 6 deputy mayors, more than 20 directorates and 1392 personnel under the management of Mr. Şükrü Genç.