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1. Byzantine Era: Living in the Shadow of Hagia Sophia

During the Byzantine Empire, Istanbul was known as Constantinople. The city was surrounded by walls, housing stone houses, churches, and palaces within. The housing structure mainly consisted of one or two-story stone homes.

2. Ottoman Era: Waterside Mansions, Traditional Houses, and the Imperial Pavilion

As the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul underwent significant transformation. Wooden waterside mansions adorned both shores of the Bosphorus, while spacious houses with large courtyards became common in the inner parts of the city. The residential architecture in Istanbul reflected the empire’s lifestyle filled with wealth, splendor, and artistic sensitivity.

3. Republic Era: The Birth of Apartment Culture

With the proclamation of the Republic, Istanbul embarked on a process of modernization. The increase in population and urban transformation projects in the mid-1950s changed the city’s construction dynamics. One or two-story wooden houses gave way to reinforced concrete apartments.

4. 2000s and Beyond: City of Skyscrapers

From the beginning of the 2000s, housing development in Istanbul met with rapidly rising skyscrapers. Especially in business centers like Levent and Maslak, these buildings completely altered Istanbul’s silhouette. Simultaneously, luxury housing projects, residences, and gated communities began to appear all over the city.


Housing development in Istanbul has been shaped parallel to the city’s history, culture, and geopolitical position. Homes with different architectural features were built in every era, yet the soul of Istanbul has always been preserved. Even though we live in an Istanbul surrounded by modern apartments today, traces of the past can be seen at every corner. The city, with its legacy of hosting numerous civilizations, has created a unique mosaic in housing development.