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Yeni Mahalle

Author(s) : Benlisoy Foti (6/9/2008)
Translation : Tsokanis Anna

For citation: Benlisoy Foti, "Yeni Mahalle",
Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Constantinople
URL: <http://www.ehw.gr/l.aspx?id=11360>

Γενί Μαχαλέ (12/9/2008 v.1) Yeni Mahalle (1/7/2009 v.1) 

1. Location – Name

Yeni Mahalle (New District) was a small fishing village, one of the last villages on the European shore of Upper Bosporus. The area neighbors Büyükdere and Sarıyer. It was also named Skletrina, corrupt pronunciation of the name of the dried up river Sklethrinas and of the near-by gulf Sklethrinus.1

2. Population

The inhabitants of Yeni Mahalle were exclusively Greek-Orthodox;2 the majority was involved with sea-related professions. According to Skarlatos Vyzantios, Yeni Mahalle was a district of “Christians, mostly seamen and fishermen”.3 In 1873, the population amounted to 650 residents, most of whom were fishermen. In a report by the Educational Committee of the Philological Association of Constantinople in 1885, it is mentioned that the community consists of 200 families.4 In 1905, the Greek-Orthodox community of Yeni Mahalle consisted of 180 families.5 During World War I, its residents were 1,725 according to statistical data by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.6

The Greek-Orthodox community of Yeni Mahalle, after the Population Exchange and the foundation of the Turkish Republic, became the smallest community of the Diosece of Derkoi. According to data from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the community in question consisted of 80 families in 1949.7 A few years later, in 1955, and according to data provided by Christophoros Christidis from his personal archive, the Yeni Mahalle Greek community consisted of 77 families and operated a charitable association.8

3. Religion

The Orthodox community of Yeni Mahalle comes under the Diocese of Derkoi. The Orthodox church in the area is dedicated to St John the Forerunner. This church was founded as a dependency of the Stavropegic (Patriarchal) Monastery of the Virgin Mary of the Black Port, on the same location where a small church dedicated to St John the Forerunner stood from 1530.9 From 1656, however, it came under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Derkoi. The church was ruined around 1820 and rebuilt in 1834. Vyzantios mentions relatively: “The village’s church, dedicated in honor of the Forerunner, is from yesteryear celebrated for the wonders that had occurred in it. Though ruined around the beginning of the Greek struggle {for independence} by the artillery trials of the neighbouring forts (tabya yamakları), it has been reconstructed recently more spacious”.10 The church was destroyed once more in the 1894 earthquake, but was repaired afterwards. It was also affected by incidents of September 6 and 7, 1955. In the northern part of the church, in an underground domed area, is the location of the holy water spring (hagiasma), which is considered beneficent for the hard-of-hearing and those afflicted with malaria.11

4. Education

The community kept a school that operated under the monitorial system with ca. 110 students. At the end of the 19th century, a mixed elementary school is recorded, attended by 120 male and female students.12 In 1905, the community operated a school for boys with 148 students and a nursing and all-girls school with 50 children and schoolgirls.13

1. Gyllius, P., İstanbul Boğazı (İstanbul 2000), pp. 141‑142.

2. Παπαστράτης, Θ., Γειτονιές του Βοσπόρου (Athens 2003), p. 165; Φραγκούδης, Γ.Σ., Η Κωνσταντινούπολις (Βυζάντιον‑Σταμπούλ). Περιγραφή της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως λήγοντος του 19ου αιώνος (Athens 1901), p. 245.

3. Βυζάντιος, Σ., Η Κωνσταντινούπολις, ή περιγραφή τοπογραφική, αρχαιολογική και ιστορική, vol. 2 (Athens 1862), p. 172.

4. Μήλλας, Α., Σφραγίδες Μητροπόλεων Χαλκηδόνος‑Δέρκων (Athens 2000), pp. 293‑294.

5. Ημερολόγιον των Εθνικών Φιλανθρωπικών Καταστημάτων του Έτους 1906 (Istanbul 1905), p. 149.

6. Μήλλας, Α., Σφραγίδες Μητροπόλεων Χαλκηδόνος‑Δέρκων (Athens 2000), p. 296.

7. Σταματόπουλος, Κ.Μ., Η τελευταία αναλαμπή. Η κωνσταντινουπολίτικη ρωμηοσύνη στα Χρόνια 1948‑1955 (Athens 1996), p. 291.

8. Χρηστίδης, Χ., Τα Σεπτεμβριανά (Athens 2000), p. 304.

9. Γκίνης, Ν. – Στράτος, Κ., Εκκλησίες της Κωνσταντινούπολης (Αθήνα 1999), p. 151.

10. Βυζάντιος, Σ., Η Κωνσταντινούπολις, ή περιγραφή τοπογραφική, αρχαιολογική και ιστορική, vol. 2 (Athens 1862), p. 172.

11. Ατζέμογλου, Ν., Τα Αγιάσματα της Πόλης (Athens 1990), p. 125.

12. Μήλλας, Α., Σφραγίδες Μητροπόλεων Χαλκηδόνος‑Δέρκων (Athens 2000), pp. 293‑294.

13. Ημερολόγιον των Εθνικών Φιλανθρωπικών Καταστημάτων του Έτους 1906 (Istanbul 1905), p. 149.


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