With a special interest in Istanbul, historian and researcher Süleyman Faruk Göncüoğlu collected his personal archive and details about Üsküdar's lost history including historical caravansarays, trams, rose-flavored Turkish delight and vineyard houses in his article ‘Üsküdar and the Bosporus in the 1900s'
Historian Süleyman Faruk Göncüoğlu has written an article titled "1900'lerde Üsküdar ve Boğaziçi" (Üsküdar and Bosporus in the 1900s) that will be published as a book soon, focusing on how Üsküdar Avenue, which was Istanbul's most prestigious trade and transportation network, has changed over the years. "I wrote this article to recall the lost values of Istanbul and show how the city enjoyed a Bosporus civilization. I also used my personal photo archive to illustrate the changes from 1900 to 1960 and refresh my mind while writing," he said.
The Üsküdar tram, one of the earliest forms of public transit in the city, began to run in 1928 on the Anatolian side.
Göncüoğlu said the Üsküdar tram, one of the earliest forms of public transit in the city, began to run in 1928 on the Anatolian side. "The first tram line used to depart from Üsküdar, goes to Bağlarbaşı and then arrives at the Kısıklı neighborhood," he said. One year later, two other lines from Bağlarbaşı to Haydarpaşa and from Üsküdar to Haydarpaşa opened. When trams became popular, additional lines were added in Bostancı, Moda and Feneryolu. "After years, Üsküdar was no longer a trade center and tram services stopped," Göncüoğlu said. He said there were a number of inns on the Üsküdar coast years ago, however Üsküdar Avenue does not currently exist. Göncüoğlu said these inns are no longer remembered. He explained that vineyard houses, although some of them still stand, are among the district's lost values.
"I wrote this article to recall the lost values of Istanbul and show how the city enjoyed a Bosporus civilization. I also used my personal photo archive to illustrate the changes from 1900 to 1960 and refresh my mind while writing," Göncüoğlu said.
He said Üsküdar was the starting point of a coach station culture in the city. "There are branches of bus companies near the Yeni Valide Mosque, an example of an almost 600-year-old tradition. In those years, there were shops of those engaging in caravan trade at this place," he said. Göncüoğlu said the Turkish idiom, "Atı alan Üsküdar'ı geçti" (It is too late now), comes from the fact that the district was both the starting and end point of transportation routes from Anatolia.
He said that Muslims who migrated from Bulgaria to Istanbul were settled in Üsküdar's Çavuşbaşı neighborhood following the Russo-Turkish War from 1877 to 1878. They grew roses in their gardens, he said. "With the order of Sultan Abdülhamid, the surrounding area of Göksü Stream became a center of rose cultivation. To honor Prophet Muhammad, rose flavored Turkish delight was produced, which continued until the 1940s," he added. Göncüoğlu said a mosque was standing where a military mess now exists. "A law enacted in 1935 specified that there must be 500 meters between mosques. This is why the Mahmudiye Mosque was demolished. A military mess was established as a necessity then," he said.