Sunday, February 5, 2017


Eyüp - Istanbul Turkey

GPS : 41°03'13.8"N 28°55'58.9"E / 41.053833, 28.933028

Pierre Loti Cafe / Eyup - Istanbul photo piyerloticafe_eyup126.jpg


This delightful cafe is named after the French novelist and naval officer, Julien Viaud (1850 - 1923), who took the pen name Pierre Loti. Loti spent some time in Istanbul and developed a deep attachment to the city. As a lovely memorial to him, the Cafe is built on the spot where Loti is rumoured to have stood gazing out at the Golden Horn. In keeping with the historical theme, the decor and waiters keep to 19th century style. There is also a hotel, restaurants and a souvenir shop nearby.

There is a cable car which runs from near the Eyup Mosque to the Cafe. Otherwise, set off by foot to truly enjoy the surroundings. This short but relatively steep climb takes you from the Mosque through the beautiful Cemetery of the great Eyüp Sultan which is worth a visit in itself. The Cemetery, with its stone walkways and mass of green shrubbery, houses such guests as Avni Lifij, a well known Turkish artist, as well as several grand viziers from Ottoman times. Its view over the water is spectacular.

Louis Marie Julien Viaud (1850 - 1923)

In 1879,on having published his first novel Aziyade, showing sections of Ottoman, he put forth Pecheur d’Islande’la (Icelandic Fisherman) in 1886.Loti became a writer and made himself approved by literary environment. In the following years,he published a book everyyear and they were read by a large mass of people. The writer,put into French Academy, got Legion d’Honneur(legion of honour). Loti,who was an impressionist writer, had a plain language. His impressionistic style in literature also impressed his personality.In addition to love,the sense of death took part in his works of art that put in to words a deep desperateness.

Besides this desperateness, he reflected his compassion and humane sentiment, he felt inside for the human beings, in his books. Pierre Loti, who visited Istanbul many times, had come here first in 1876 on a French ship as an officer in charge. Loti was impressed by Ottoman life style, so he reflected this impact in most of his books. He met Aziyade, the woman whose name was given to one of Loti’s books, here. When he was in Istanbul, he used to live in Eyüp. Loti, who admired Istanbul, always defined himself as a turcophile.

When Loti, criticizing the western policies in his book La Turquie Agonisante (Agonizing Turkey) in 1913, came to Turkey in the same year as an official quest. He was welcomed with the accompaniment of a big ceremony in Tophane Quay and hosted in the palace by Sultan Reşat. In the Balkan Wars and during the invasion of Anatolia in the period of post-world war I, he always defended Turkey against Europe. He also gained the sympathy of Turkish people due to his support to the resistance in Anatolia in the course of national struggle and criticizing his country French, the occupant force.

So,Turkish Grand National Assembly sent a letter to Loti in October 4,1921 expressing their gratitudes to him. By this way, in 1920, Loti was accepted as “honorary citizen of Istanbul" and a community having his name was established. Later on, a street in Divanyolu in İstanbul was named as “Pierre Loti Street” and a cafe in Eyüp was entitled as “Pierre Loti Cafe". In today’s concept the hill where the mentioned cafe takes place is also called “Pierre Loti Hill”.

Pierre Loti, or rather Louis Marie Julien Viaud (1850-1923), was French. Viaud, an officer of the French navy, found himself in Istanbul following an incident known as “the event of Salonica.” The ship he was stationed on, a part of the French Mediterranean squadron, arrived in Salonica on May 16, 1876. On that same day, Loti, the main character in the book “Aziyade”, witnesses six dead bodies, “writhing in the horrible contortions of hanging” in the main square of Salonica.

This punishment, prescribed by the sultan was in response to the murder of French and German consuls sent to intervene in the fiasco emerging after a Bulgarian girl, recently converted to Islam, was prevented from entering the office of the mufti of Salonica. Days after the execution, in a city quieted by the dramatic events, the air thick with hostility, Loti ventures into the old and little-visited Muslim quarter.

Here his eyes meet with a pair of great green eyes through thick iron bars. He sees more of the woman and writes: “A white veil was arranged with care over her head, revealing only her forehead and her enormous eyes. The irises were of a vivid emerald, that sea-green hue celebrated by the Eastern poets of old.”

The subtitle to “Aziyade” states, “Extract of notes and letter of a lieutenant of the English navy entered in the service of Turkey on May 10th, 1876 killed at the walls of Kars on October 27th, 1877.” All but the ending of the book closely resembles Viaud’s life and has come to be known as a part fictional, part autobiographical account of his time in Turkey. The book resulted from his own diaries and the story published after friends urged him to do so. Pierre Loti was in fact Viaud’s pen name and was considered to be one of France’s most original and finest writers of the time.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, notes: “At his best Pierre Loti was unquestionably the finest descriptive writer of the day. In the delicate exactitude with which he reproduced the impression given to his own alert nerves by unfamiliar forms, colors, sounds and perfumes, he was without a rival. But he was not satisfied with this exterior charm; he desired to blend with it a moral sensibility of the extremest refinement, at once sensual and ethereal.”

The same review goes on to say that his earlier books were his best. “His greatest successes were gained in the species of confession, half-way between fact and fiction, which he essayed in his earlier books.” “Aziyade” was Loti’s first “novel.”

Viaud traveled the world extensively and managed to combine the life of a sailor with that of a writer. He attained the rank of lieutenant in 1881, received his first command in 1898 then stepped down and went on to the reserve list in 1910. He wrote wherever he went, often about the experiences of a soldier or naval officer, journeys either personal or professional, many with a similar semi-autobiographical travelogue style. In 1887 he published a book on Japanese manners, “Madame Chrysanthème” said to be an inspiration for “Madame Butterfly” and “Miss Saigon.”

Viaud did not fall in love with Istanbul the minute he set foot on its shores. It was something that developed slowly, yet once the city had its hooks into him, he became quite the Turk. Loti, in “Aziyade,” dressed like a local in a fez and caftan, moved himself from the safety of Pera to the environs of Eyüp and took on the name Arif Efendi.

Writing of Eyüp he notes his comfort in his surroundings and life, so different from his earlier life. “…here I have become one of the people, a plain citizen of Eyüp. I have adopted the homely way of life of the boatmen and fisherfolk, and I take a true delight in their society and their simple pleasures. I feel perfectly at home in this surroundings, which have lost all trace of strangeness.”

It was in Eyüp that he waited for his lover from Salonica to arrive. The youngest of an elderly businessman’s four wives, Aziyade eventually came to him months after their separation. They carried on quite a scandalous affair thanks to the complicity of those around them. At the conclusion of the book “Aziyade,” Loti is killed in the last battle of Kars in 1877 after enlisting in the Turkish army as Arif-Ussam. Viaud returned to France to see his ageing mother.

His writing career took off in earnest following his departure from Turkey and the publication of his first “novel” “Aziyade.” He published other books with a Turkish theme. Firstly a short orientalist’s perspective of Constantinople in 1890, written after his third visit to the city. Then in 1913, “La Turquie agonisante,” which was translated into English as “Turkey in Agony” the same year. “La Mort de notre chère France en Orient,” published in 1920, again demonstrated Viaud’s affection and concerns for Turkey in post World War I.

Viaud spent almost a year in Istanbul between August 1876 and May 1877, residing mostly in Eyüp. In his short travel journal of his trip in 1890 he wrote, “ the depths of this gulf (the Golden Horn) enclosed by a city, in its profound depths, under the cypress and plane-trees the holy district of Eyüp, the heart of Islam in Europe, surrounded by tombs, will fall asleep in terrifying silence, only interrupted from time to time by some psalmody coming from a mosque.” And whilst this dark and contemplative place made a very obvious mark on Viaud, Loti made an equally lasting impression on Eyüp.

It would be easy to see Viaud’s time in Constantinople as a part of a role he decided to play, a character he took on in the pursuit of forbidden fruits. There are some who believe that Loti’s mistress was a man, others an odalisque, but whether she was a he or not, their passion was perhaps the seed from which grew one of the most prolific and influential writers of the end of the 19th and dawn of the 20th centuries.

The name of the world-famous cafe, Pierre Loti, came under threat earlier this year when the mayor of the Eyüp Council proposed that it be changed to Eyüp Sultan. For the moment, however, it seems safe for locals and travelers alike to come to the place in the middle of one of Islam’s most sacred places that was named after and made famous by a French sailor and author.


The famous cafe entitled with the name of Pierre Loti, a famous French writer, is reached on getting to this ridge on which the perfect view of Golden Horn can be watched. The real name of Pierre Loti, who lived in Istanbul for long years and was a real Istanbul lover, was Julien Viaud.The historical cafe is the most ideal place to watch this mentioned view.

It is said that, in those years Pierre Loti used to come this cafe often, named as “Rabia Kadın Kahvesi” in those years, and write his novel “Aziyade” overlooking Golden Horn.Today, this district, still kept as an original Turkish settlement by being restorated, consists of many spaces serving as a tourist facility.The district is also mentioned in Evliya Çelebi’s Seyahatname ( travel book) as “Idris Köşkü Mesiresi”.

İdris-i Bitlisi Sıbyan Mektebi
This masterwork,belonging to the period predates Mimar Sinan, is the first educational institution established in all cities and towns of Ottoman Empire. As in many foundations in Ottoman Empire, these schools, which correspond to “nursery schools” in today’s context, were constructed in the form of charitable foundations thanks to some benefacters. This building was constructed on the purpose of charity by an important Ottoman historian İdris-i Bitlisi, who took charge in East Anatolia and Arabia as kazasker (military judge), (in the period of Yavuz Sultan Selim).

Drinking Fount Of Rayet Keşan Kalfa
The drinking tap, made of ashlar, is in the form of Turkish fount architecture.It’s known that, there was a tap of İdris-i Bitlisi on the location of this one, but later on it lied in ruins.The masterwork is called with this name as Rayet Keşan Kalfa,one of the bondwomen of Sultan Abdülaziz,had it restored in 1858.

The Sepulcher Mevlevi İskender Dede
Once upon a time in this garden, full of great sycamores and cypreases, there was also a zaviye (small dervish lodge) called with the name of Iskender Dede, who dided in 1589 ( 997 moslom calendar). The grave of a whirling dervish called “Iskender Dede” takes place in Pierre Loti Tourist Facility located forefront Sıbyan Mektebi that was built by Ottoman history writer İdris-i Bitlisi. One of the two water wells infront of Iskender Dede is the famous “Dilek Kuyusu” (a water well for wishes) Evliya Çelebi writes about this water well in his Seyahatname and says: the people who look in to the well, can see their own wishes they keep in their hearts. There is also a drinking fountain next to the frontage of Sıbyan Mektebi. In addition, a cistern, supposed to be built in Byzantine period, survives in the middle of the garden area in the tourist facility.

The Wishing Well
The fame of this well, known as wishing well; has survived until today .In Evliya Çelebi’s Seyahatname ( a travel book) the well is mentioned in details. It is known that there is a “musalla” (a place to pray to perform salah) nearby the well. Rumour has it that, if a person ,who lost something or somebody, had performed salah there and talked to the well, the well used to answer and tell where the lost thing was.

The Tomb Of Çolak Şeyh Hasan Dede
This tomb, the oldest masterwork of the neighbourhood, is made of ashler and composed of two units. On the right side of the tomb, out in the open, there is a sepulcher of a müderris (Islamic professor of his age) whose occupation can be elicited from the gravestone. Inside the building, on the left hand, there is a small prayer room also can be called "çilehane" (çilehane is a place in which a dervish undergoes and suffers to strength his patience) and on the right side there is a grave estimated to be Çolak Hasan Dede’s grave but there’s no confirmation for it. It is ascertained with the written records, Çolak Hasan Dede also had a small mosque built somewhere in the region of Sultan Ahmet Küçükayasofya, where in he was a soldier.

There are Tarihi Kahve, Aziyade Reataurant, Yeşil Kafe, Nargile Evi and the Turquhouse Hotel, consists of 7 ancient Istanbul mansions, 67 rooms and 115 beds in the tourist facility. In addition the facility serves a Golden Horn viewed outdoor garden area, that can be used by 1400 people at the same time.


The cafe still retains some of the 19th century ambiance that Pierre Loti perhaps lost himself in. A must see place in the summer months, Tarihi Kahve entertains up to 5000 guests on the weekends influencing the future generations to keep this tradition alive. Guests of all ages and nationalities have been coming to Tarihi Kahve to taste our special menus making it an Istanbul Classic.

With the fascinating atmosphere of its scenery and its decoration resembling the original ancient-Istanbul mansion. Tarihi Kahve is a two story building with a large terrace. The ground floor holds a modern cafe ambience and the top floor has been decorated with Turkish and Ottoman motifs. It can host up to 130 people on the inside and 500 people in the open air areas. Our service starts at 08:00 with breakfast and goes on until midnight.

All the details have been considered to provide you with the utmost comfort at Nargilevi. You will relieve the day’s stress and feel at home in our unique decoration which is a perfect combination of our traditional culture and modern life philosophy. Lodge-like booths have been added to Nargilevi’s interior design for you to have a great time along with friends and family.

You will lose track of time and leave the stress of the day behind when you are enjoying yourself with your friends at Cafe Yeşil looking at the unique view of The Golden Horn and its colorful lights. You can enjoy our open buffet Sunday breakfast - brunch and continue with a rich menu of appetizers and beverages.

Sometimes the view of The Golden Horn adds pleasure to the time you spend with your friends. Years later, Pierre Loti will remind you the bitter taste of the tea and the conversations you had with you had with your loved ones. It is a beautiful sound that has been subject to many poems, novels and paintings.
It is a must-see place for foreign guests and those visiting Eyüp Sultan.

With the large garden of it overviewing the Golden Horn and Istanbul, in which 1400 guests can be hosted at the same time, you can relax and taste a great serenity in a very different ambiance. If you still haven’t come and felt the sweet breeze, we can’t describe it to you. You can only understand Pierre Loti as you live it.

The service begins with an open buffet breakfast and continues with lunch and dinner. Aziyade also hosts special events and organizations. Ayizade also hosts special events and organizations such as engagement and wedding ceremonies, meetings, and Ramadan dinners with specially selected menus for you and your elite guests.

Turquhouse Boutique Hotel, a true historic value passed onto the present day, consists of 7 ancient Istanbul mansions, 67 rooms and 115 beds. The mansions have been restored and re-interpreted to reflect the original 18th century Ottoman architecture and are named after the towns that are situated on the coast of The Golden Horn. (Eyüp, Ayvansaray, Balat, Fener, Cibali, Hasköy ve Sütlüce).

Distant from conventional understanding of hotel service, our mission is to make our guests feel at home in the most elegant way possible and provide them with an ambience in which they will enjoy every moment peacefully in a historic architecture. Along with excellent quality of service and the magnificent view of Istanbul and The Golden Horn, Turquhouse Hotel offers our guests an unforgettable experience that will remain in their best memories.

Our hotel is located within a ten minute walk to the historic Eyüp Sultan Mosque and is also the only hotel that can be reached with the teleferic in Istanbul. Other forms of transportation to our hotel include the local bus lines, the metrobus, and local sea transportation boats. Turquhouse Hotel has been proudly serving our invaluable clients since 2002.


Food And Beverages
Our facilities hold a rich menu including; pastry and appetizer varieties, freshly squeezed fruit juices, ice cream, mantı (Turkish ravioli), gözleme (Turkish calzone), and fast food varieties such as burgers, toasts and sandwiches along with all the beverages all for your pleasure. Besides, you can’t find the irreplaceable taste of tea and Turkish coffee in Pierre Loti, in which you can also arrange organizations such as engagement and wedding ceremonies, somewhere else.

Distant from conventional understanding of hotel service, our mission is to make our guests feel at home in the most elegant way possible and provide them with an ambience in which they will enjoy every moment peacefully in a historic architecture. Along with excellent quality of service and the magnificent view of Istanbul and The Golden Horn, the Turquhouse Hotel offers our guests an unforgettable experience that will remain in their best memories. Our hotel is located within a ten minute walk to the historic Eyüp Sultan Mosque and is also the only hotel that can be reached with the teleferic in Istanbul. Other forms of transportation to our hotel include the local bus lines, the metrobus, and local sea transportation boats.

It is required to make pre-reservations for your organizations such as weddings, engagement ceremonies, seminars and conferences that can be held in indoor and outdoor areas. It is possible to arrange these organizations with meal or in a cocktail form. The service of accessorizing the tables and chairs is also available.


WEB SITE : Pier Loti Hill

E-Mail :
Phone : +90 212 497 1313
Fax : +90 212 497 1616

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