Left: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Middle: Republican Monument, Taksim Square. Right: Taksim Square, located in the European part of Istanbul, is a major shopping district and leisure district. It is also in many ways the public face of modern Istanbul.
This public space, also known as Taksim Republic Square, was re-appropriated by the Kemalists as a new center for the city in the late 1920’s. Their choice was one of geographic and cultural distancing from
Sultanahmet Square in winter. When the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, they converted the Byzantine Hagia Sophia into a mosque and built the larger Sultanahmet Mosque -the only mosque in the world with 6 minarets - across the square.