Located just around the corner from Taksim Square, Cihangir is arguably the hippest neighborhood in Istanbul. Lively from morning to night, the streets are lined with colorful cafes, bars and restaurants. The Social Facilities (Cihangir Sosyal Tesisleri) have become the latest member of this dynamic culinary atmosphere. It is a clean, large and budget restaurant run by the municipality. Situated on a plateau above the coastline of the Bosphorus Strait, the restaurant offers an amazing view. What the facility has added to Cihangir’s landscape however is quite the opposite. The Ottoman-themed architecture is no more than a failed attempt.
Today in Turkey, we are witnessing a growing interest in Ottoman history. This nostalgia has decontextualized formerly distinct symbols, ideas, and objects in many ways. The Social Facilities in Cihangir could be one of them. As a neighborhood of artists and writers, elegant cafes, and antiquarian shops Cihangir stands for a liberal ground. At the heart of that there is Social Facilities Restaurant commemorating the past by its existence and design.
I spent some time sitting here, sipping my very well brewed Turkish coffee, getting lost in the beauty of the view and thinking all about this. You may just want to skip all the thought process and just enjoy the good service and fair pricing.