Introduction

Throughout the history, capital cities have possessed one distinguished feature in common: Wherever a royal dynasty resides, high dignitaries of state will chose the same vicinity for their residences, building the most magnificent houses with finest architecture. The same feature is to be observed in Istanbul. During the Ottoman period that lasted until the middle of the 19th century, Sultanahmet district gradually became covered with the mansions of the various dignitaries.

One of these mansions, Yesil Ev, was built by an Ottoman Grandee; Reji Naziri Sukru Bey, the Minister of the Ottoman Tobacco Monopoly in late 19th Century. The mansion was used by the family till 1970 than left behind into a state of neglect and dilapidation.

In 1977 the mansion was bought by the Touring and Automobile Club of Turkey under the leadership of Mr Celik Gulersoy. The mansion was so far beyond repair that, with the consent of the Commission for Ancient Monuments, it was demolished and rebuilt. The nineteen rooms and layout were carefully preserved and the exterior remade as an exact replica. The furnishings have been collected or created in the style of a 19th century Ottoman Winter Mansion with tasseled velvet curtains, brass bedsteads, chandeliers, oil paintings, gravures, hand made finest anatolian carpets and gilded period armchairs.

A high point of Yesil Ev; the marvellously quiet, high-walled garden with a monumental fountain of pink porpryry and a flower-filled orangerie submitted to the appreciation of the guests as a cafe and restaurant. After the opening of this unique building in March 1984 as "Yesil Ev", it very quickly attained a world-wide reputation and awarded in 1985 with the medal for the year by "Europa Nostra" .

Yesil Ev had, indeed, introduced the concept of true comfort and hygiene to this "derelict" district and opened a new approach in Turkish tourism by combining modern standards with historical style.