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Beyazit Tower
During the Byzantine period, there was a tower called “Tetratsiyon” built for observing fires in remote areas where the current Beyazit Tower stands. In 1749, during the Ottoman period, the tower was built  by the architect, Kirkor Balyan, who finished his education in L’École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. It holds the distinction of being the first fire observing tower. The tower was built by Hüseyin Ağa and has been called “Harik Kiosk” or “Harik Tower.” The word “harik” means fire. The performers in the tower are called “köşklü, köşlü, or dideban.” During the march of insurgents, the wooden tower was set on fire by the Janissaries. The tower was rebuilt on the same site in 1828 out of stone by Senekerim Balyan, the brother of the architect Kirkor Balyan under the command of Sultan Mahmut II. Before the Beyazıt Tower was constucted,  the minarets of the Süleymaniye Mosque were used to observe fires. The height of the tower measures 85 meters, And the tower has a wooden staircase of 256 steps.

Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL


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Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality 2008