Entertainment for Adults

Plays and Entertainment


During the Byzantine period, the most popular entertainment of the court and the people was the chariot races in the Hippodrome (today’s Sultanahmet) particularly from the 4th until the 7th century. Chariot races retained their importance in Istanbul until the 12th century. During the Ottoman period, today’s Okmeydanı, founded with the ordinance of Mehmet II and known as Meydan-ı Kemankeşâni, has been the first sports facility of Istanbul. Alongside the archery contests, races and wrestling matches were also held here. In the 16th century, rowing contests were organized between Haydarpaşa and the entrance of the Golden Horn. The sultan and his entourage watched these contests from the summer palace at Sarayburnu, and people on the shore. Founded in early 20th century, Beşiktaş, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe were the first sports clubs in the country. During the Republican period, Istanbul was again the first place where modern sports were launched and institutionalized in Turkey.


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