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Photographer's Note

Maiden's Tower is located at the intersection point of the two continents Europe and Asia. Due to its location, it has been the symbol of Istanbul and one of the unique structures of the world.

Since the structure of Maiden's Tower dates back to 2500 years ago, it witnessed everything that the city encountered. During Hellenistic times, the tower was a mausoleum over a peninsula and it turned to be a customs station during Byzantine Empire in order to control the entrance and exit of the Bosphorus. During the Ottoman Empire, it carried out as a platform to perform Janissary Song, defense castle, banishment station, quarantine and so on...Its main duty was being a lighthouse and guiding people, boats and lovers...

The first structure over the peninsula that Maiden's Tower is located on dates back to BC 341. During those days, the name of the peninsula was “vus” as it was just a bulge from Bosphorus and used as a mausoleum that Commander Chares built for his wife. In BC 410, it used as a customs station in order to control the entrance and exit of the Bosphorus by distending a long chain from Sarayburnu to the peninsula. After DC 1110, the first appearance of the tower came out after the directive of Emperor Manuel Comnenos for building a wooden defense castle. The tower was named as “arcle” which ment “little tower”.

During the conquest of Istanbul, the tower continued to be used as a defense castle, however, during the Ottoman Empire, the tower was handled as a performance platform and the janissary band of musicians practiced their national music named “Janissary Song” there. In 1509, the tower damaged from an earthquake and built again in the following years with additional features such as a lighthouse and a cistern. However, structure was apparently different then the previous ones cause the tower had two canopies of which belong to a lighthouse. In 1719 the tower burnt down due to the fire came out from the lighthouse.
In 1725 the tower constructed again by the architecture of the city named Damat Ibrahim Pasha who was from Nevşehir. He changed the structure of the tower to a stone building, placed a glass chalet and a leaden dome to the tower. In 1930, it used as a quarantine in order to prevent cholera epidemic to spread into the city. During decadence of the Ottoman Empire, the tower was again used as a defense castle for a period of time.

The writing of famous calligrapher named Rakim and the epigraph that carries the signature of Sultan Mahmut the second was placed to the marble at the top of the tower’s door. In 1959 the tower was endorsed over military and began to be used as a radar station whereas in 1982, it endorsed over Turkey Maritime Administration and used as a cyanide warehouse. After 1922, privatization of the tower became the issue and many commercial companies brought out interesting projects...

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Additional Photos by Mehmet Erman Turkgeldi (capella) Silver Star Critiquer [C: 22 W: 0 N: 0] (182)
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