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Cicek Pasaji (Cité de Péra)

Cicek Pasaji was the most glamorous address in the Beyoğlu district during the heady days of the Orient Express, and today the historic 19th-century arcade is known for its restaurants and lively bar scene. Opened in the old site of the grand Naum Theatre in 1876, Cicek Pasaji was originally known as Cité de Péra, but following the 1917 Russian Revolution the galleria became known as Cicek Pasaji (Turkish for Flower Passage) because some of the newly-impoverished bourgeois Russian women who fled to Istanbul to start again began selling flowers here. By the 1940s, the new name stuck because by then, most of Cité de Péra’s buildings were occupied by flower shops. Once home to some of Istanbul's most glamorous apartments and stores, by the time of the Second World War, the exclusive shops had turned into rough and rowdy meyhanes (taverns).

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