The people of Kadiköy seem to have always looked at the world a little differently. When the founders of Byzantium established their colony on the perfect but unoccupied natural harbour that is the Golden Horn, they couldn’t understand why the people across the strait in Chalcedon, the ancient name for Kadiköy, had missed it! It seemed such a strange mistake that they called the city of Chalcedon, the city of the blind. We like to think that they just look at things differently.
Today’s Kadiköy is a Bohemian and eclectic mix of artists, antique shops, restaurants, bars and markets, clustered around some Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches, in the district where the centre of ancient Chalcedon used to be. Kadiköy is handily ringed by the circular route of a 1940’s single car tram, which trundles its way round Kadiköy every 20 minutes or so.
There is a comfortable atmosphere between established residents, arty newcomers, visitors and the varied and friendly population of street dogs; well fed and indulged who can be found sleeping in corner sun traps or tucked up inside shop doors just where the heating systems blow down on them. They are no trouble and along with the striking street art and murals, are part of the unique ambience of this charming place.
From the park at Moda or along the sea front you can enjoy the view of the Bosphorus and the incomparable Istanbul skyline. Maybe the denizens of ancient Kadiköy weren’t so blind after all!