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The Famous Kasim Pasha District

In 1525, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent saw Constantinople had become crowded in its prosperity. He ordered his trusted servant, Vizier Kasim Pasha, a well-known Ottoman Statesman who served for the Ottoman Army as ‘Kaptan-ı Derya’ (The Navy Commander) and Grand Vizier of Suleyman the Magnificent, to oversee the construction of a suburb across the Golden Horn where the city’s excess population could comfortably dwell.

Kassim Pasha built the quarter and gave it a mosque, both still bear his name. Kassim Pasha started as a glamorous neighborhood with spacious streets and garden courtyards and after the Ottoman navy moved its headquarters and fleet to Kassim Pasha’s harbor, its reputation grew further with military prestige. The impressive harbor ringed with docked warships, shipyards, and barracks housing the sailors of the Ottoman navy.

Kassim Pasha is the largest quarter in Constantinople’s northern shore, extending from the Golden Horn for over a mile inland over hills and valleys toward Ok-Meidan. Its width spreads from Has Keui in the east and ending at the cemetery known as the Champs des Morts on the outskirts of Galata and Pera.

Kasim Pasha gained lasting fame from a series of pious foundations and building a mosque, madrassa and Hammam in Istanbul. One of the most important quarters in Constantinople up to this day, the Byzantine ‘Suburb of the Spring’ is named after him Kasim paşa mahallesi.