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Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city

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January 5, 1523, after the fall of Rhodes , the Knights of St. John had put the island of Kos forces of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent began a long Ottoman occupation of 390 years. Kos became a province (kaymakamlığı) of the Ottoman Rhodes. As Rhodes, and unlike other islands Dodecanese , Kos suffered heavy taxes under the Ottoman yoke. Turkish domination Kos ended in 1912 after the Italo-Turkish War, when Italy invaded North Africa and the Ottoman Dodecanese islands.

During the 390 years of Turkish occupation, the island underwent a Muslim immigration which remains today a large population of a thousand people, in fact after passing under Italian domination, the island of Kos was not concerned with the "population transfers" between Greece and Turkey under the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.

Under Ottoman rule, the island of Kos town is named Istankoy in Turkish Europeans transcribed the name Stankou.


During the Ottoman occupation the town of Kos had all the characteristics of cities called bazaars cities: the tsarsi (market square) was located downtown on the Square Plane . Outside the medieval walls, the city was divided into districts (Mahalle) with several neighborhoods Muslims , a quarter Jewish and a neighborhood Christian .

Today, traces of Ottoman rule on Kos are still visible among the most important monuments of the past are Muslim Kos note: Defterdar mosque on the main square of the city (Place Eleftherias), the Mosque of Pasha Gazi Hassan and fountain of the eighteenth century, both located on Sycamore Square, the Turkish Anatolia and the Ottoman old town Haluvazia.

Sycamore Square (πλατεία του πλατάνου)
Plane-tree Square (Platia always Platanou) owes its name to the "Hippocrates Plane-tree" While centuries old, but not old enough for the famous doctor has instructed his disciples under his shadow.

A fountain with inscriptions in Arabic was placed next to the tree by the old Turkish governor Gazi Hassan; these inscriptions indicate that this fountain is the "Water of Hippocrates."

This plane is very popular with tourists, was the scene of tragic events: March 25, 1821, the Greek people rose up against the occupying Turkish inhabitants of Kos rallied around to uplift their archbishop, who officiated in the direct authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The people of Kos payèrent dearly for their rallying July 11, 1821, the Turks hanged in retaliation, 90 Patriots, including a large number of priests, under the tree of Hippocrates. According to a written statement of the French traveler Pouqueville Turks beheaded total of 900 Christians Kos.

Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople was also hanged in Istanbul, and his body thrown into the Bosphorus, a street Kos perpetuates his memory, Avenue Patriarch Gregory V(Λεωφόρος Πατριάρχου Γρηγορίου Πέμπτου), commonly known avenue Grigoriou.

Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - Place the plane to Kos. Click to enlarge the image.Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - Place the plane to Kos. Click to enlarge the image.Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - Place the plane to Kos. Click to enlarge the image.
The Pasha Gazi Hassan Mosque
Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - The Mosque of Pasha Gazi Hassan Kos. Click to enlarge the image.Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - The Mosque of Pasha Gazi Hassan (author bazylek100). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab). The mosque Loggia (Τζαμί της Λότζιας), also called Gazi Hassan Pasha Mosque (Τζαμί του Γαζή Χασάν Πασά) stands near Plane-tree Square. This mosque was built in the eighteenth century, in 1786, with the support of pasha (admiral) Gazi Hassan (Gazi Hasan Paşa), governor of Kos. It is also called the Loggia Mosque because of the covered gallery visible on the north side.

Materials from Roman remains were used in the construction of this imposing mosque is believed that the mosque was built on the remains of the Byzantine basilica St. George. The mosque has two floors and an impressive minaret, and has a monumental character, and one of its remarkable features is the double row of windows typical of Islamic art.

Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - Gazi Hassan Pasha Mosque in Kos (author Marcel Louwes). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).The mosque is closed and unused Loggia, she still bears the scars of the bombing during the war, especially in the tracery of the upper windows. The ground floor is occupied by several shops.

Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - The fountain of the mosque of Pasha Gazi Hassan Kos (author Waldviertler). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - Fountain of the Pasha Gazi Hassan Mosque in Kos (author Elisa Triolo). Click to enlarge the image.Near the mosque is a park where there was a Muslim cemetery, as evidenced by two graves remaining, dating from the eighteenth century. Beside the plane of Hippocrates is the fountain of the mosque, a fountain Ottoman hexagonal and covered, built in white marble from ancient materials reused as a sarcophagus for basin and Corinthian. Until the earthquake of 1933, was near the mosque of the Loggia, the court canonical (Mahkemey Şeriye-i).

Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - The Mosque of Pasha Gazi Hassan view from the bastion Carretto. Click to enlarge the image.Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - The minaret of the mosque of Pasha Gazi Hassan Kos (author JD554). Click to enlarge the image.Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - The Mosque of Pasha Gazi Hassan Kos (author Karelj). Click to enlarge the image.
Mosque of Defterdar
Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - the mosque Defterdar Kos - Click to enlarge in Adobe Stock (new tab) The Mosque of Grand Treasurer or Defterdar mosque is located on the main square Eleftherias.

Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - The fountain of the mosque Defterdar Kos - Click to enlarge in Adobe Stock (new tab)This is a two-storey mosque built in the late eighteenth century by the Grand Treasurer Ibrahim Efendi (İbrahim Efendi Defterdar Hacı). The mosque is a mosque defterdar imposing yet elegant, harmonious proportions and is the same style and approximately the same period as the Gazi Hassan Pasha Mosque . Next is the traditional fountain used for ritual ablutions.

Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - The minaret of the mosque Defterdar Kos (author bazylek100). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).The Haci Ibrahim Efendi was defterdar of the Ottoman Empire several times during the reign of Murad III and Mehmed III. The defterdar (literally content of the role of tax) was the equivalent of the Superintendent of Finance under the French monarchy. Hacı qualifier in its name means that it had made ​​the pilgrimage to Mecca (the equivalent of hadji in Arabic).

Neighborhoods Turks
To the west of the Christian quarter of the Aspa was Kontopodi district, the largest Muslim quarter, which stretched from the port of Mandraki and the southwest corner of the city, the Place Constantine Palaeologus (Platia Palaiologou Konstantinou / Πλατεία Παλαιολόγου Κωνσταντίνου). The neighborhood extends from both sides of a narrow pedestrian street that goes from the back of the indoor market located on the Freedom Square (Platia Eleftherias / Πλατεία Ελευθερίας) to Diagoras Square (Platia Diagoras / Πλατεία Διαγόρα). This pedestrian street is named First Street Ifestou, then became Apellou Street.

Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city - Minaret on Platia Diagoras (author bazylek100). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab). This area included the Muslim mosque of the Port (destroyed by the earthquake of 1933), Atik mosque, a mosque was renovated in the nineteenth century located Eleftherios Venizelos Avenue (Leoforos Venizelou Eleftheriou,Λεωφόρος Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλου), and an old mosque dating from the eighteenth century, located Diagoras Square, where he remains a minaret overlooking the archaeological area of the west .

Up the pedestrian street to Diagoras can see a fountain Ottoman dried with an inscription and is located at the intersection of the pedestrian Venizelos Avenue, but it is often masked by the stalls of trinkets. Another fountain protrudes from the wall of a hair salon on the corner of the street Christodoulou (Οδός Χριστοδούλου) and Passanikolaki street, next to Atik mosque, a mosque without a minaret, but still in service.

The district Kontopodi was long considered disreputable, but while all the houses crumbling city collapsed during the earthquake of 1933, the robust Kontopodi houses, built of stone, survived. Today, the area is full of tourist shops and cafes, but looking up you can see Turkish and Arabic inscriptions on the stones.

Another Muslim Quarter was small neighborhood goldsmiths, Haluvazià, located west of the district Kontopodi and between Rue Herodotus (οδός Ηροδότου) and the south-western end of the harbor. Along the coast were the exohes, high square houses surrounded by gardens, inhabited by wealthy residents of the island in the middle of the nineteenth century. The aim of all the rich people of Kos nineteenth century was to acquire a shop in tsarsi and exohe on this coast.

The small area of ​​Stavrou was an extension of the Chora, south side. A square stone mausoleum, surmounted by the stone sarcophagus of Pasha Gazi Hassan exists at the intersection of Boulevard Hippocrates (Leoforos Ippokratous / Λεωφόρος Ιπποκράτους) and Metropolis Street (Odos Mitropoleos / Οδός Μητροπόλεως). It is believed that tekke (monastery of dervishes) was also there. Finally, inside the archaeological site of the west , location of the baths north was abandoned Turkish bath dating back to the second half of the nineteenth century.

In the direction of Asclepieion the Kermedé quarter, inhabited largely by Muslims of Turkish origin, kept his face clean with typical wooden houses.

Turkish Baths
Continuing on the road to Place Appelou Diagoras, found to the west of the square, street Nissirou. Number 3 of the street is the Turkish Anatolia during the Ottoman period, this building was the home of a local pasha, whose descendants migrated to Izmir in 1950. A small Turkish bath inside the house was used as hammam area until 1970. After which he became a brothel before falling completely into ruin. Since 1992, new tenants have restored the original floors and cedar ceilings painted and made of small steam room, a restaurant and bar chic and expensive.
The Jewish Quarter
According to the Jewish historian Flavius ​​Josephus, a Jewish community was thriving in Kos, since the destruction of the Second Temple by the Roman legions of Titus and the dispersion of the Jews of Palestine.

When the Knights Hospitaller of St. John conquered Kos in 1315, they expelled the Jews of the island, under the decree issued by the Grand Master Pierre d’Aubusson in 1502. Jews returned to Kos after 1522, after the Ottoman occupation. Jews prospered Kos then trade in textiles and export of raisins.

In 1747, Eliezer Tarsia supported the construction of a small synagogue that was destroyed in the earthquake of 1933. Immediately after the earthquake, a new synagogue, modernist style, was built close to the port, to the religious needs of the 140 members of the Jewish community.

During the Second World War German troops took control of the island in October 1943, the National Socialist German deported few dozen Jews from Kos to extermination camps.

Today, the building of the synagogue houses the Cultural Centre of the Municipality of Kos (4 Diakou Alexandrou Street).

The Christian Quarter
The Christian Quarter, named Aspa was located where now stands the parish of Agia Paraskevi .

History and traditionsHistory, literature, arts, traditions, legends, religions, myths, symbols ...

Go to page The history of Kos under the Ottoman yoke .

General Information

The Arap restaurant is 2 km south of the town of Kos, after Kermetes district, on the road to the Asclepion .

Greco-Turkish cooking at moderate prices (about € 10).

Telephone: 00 30 224 202 8442

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