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Istanbul, a city of 60 gates

Today, some of Istanbul's districts are named after these gates.

By Tugce Ozerdem / Kuzey / 08 Mar 2014

In the past, there were 60 gates serving as entry points on the gigantic historic walls surrounding the city of Istanbul, but most of them were reduced to ruins a long time ago.

Nonetheless, these walls served their purpose for centuries, protecting Istanbul from a number of attacks. The 20 meter tall walls were the main barriers guarding the city.

In the era of Byzantium and throughout most of the Ottoman period, entering Istanbul was only possible with official permission, or else they would be turned away. The gates were open during the day but totally closed during nights.

There were three different categories in which gates were classified according to their locations, namely, Marmara, Golden Horn and the gates on the land. Today, some of Istanbul's districts are named after these gates.

Almost each gate was named after a story or the specific characteristics its location. Mevlana Gate refers to the prominent mystic scholar Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, and was inspired by the dervish lodges in the area.

The Belgrad gate is Istanbul's second gate and was known for its strategic importance. This gate became more important during the Ottoman era. Suleiman the Magnificent brought some merchants from Belgrade, which he had conquered, and settled them around this gate. For that reason it was called as Belgrade Gate.

The Edirne gate is another gate known for its strategic importance due to its role in Sultan Mehmet II's conquest of Istanbul. Today, the Belgrad and Edirne gates are the main places where celebrations of Sultan Mehmet II's conquest are celebrated.

Sultan Mehmet settled his troops in Topkapi before his last attack assault on the city and was used for the Sultans' parades. Yedikule was known for its dungeons and was first built as a fortress.


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