Kadıköy, the “City of the blind”

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The history of the Kadıköy district, the oldest in today’s Istanbul, long dubbed the “City of the blind”

Kadıköy, the “City of the blind”

The earliest remains of this district date back to around 685 BC, although it seems that the area was already frequented by merchants for centuries. Phoenicians; precisely in this regard, it seems that the Greek name of Kadıköy, or Chalcedon, is closely connected to the name of Carthage, so much so that both would mean “new city” in Phoenician. According to tradition, Chalcedon was founded by megarese settlers and very soon obtained the nickname of “City of the blind”; this was due to the fact that, compared to the younger Byzantium, it enjoyed a much worse position, to the point that several commanders said that ” only a blind man could have chosen her instead of Byzantium. “Initially she shared her fate with her more famous neighbor, but was then conquered by the Persian satrap Otane, thus becoming definitively involved in the political struggles of the time. After passing through the Peloponnesian War juggling alliances, he passed to the Kingdom of Bithynia and with him to the newborn Roman Republic.


In 74 BC the city was partially destroyed by Mithridates, king of Pontus, managing to recover but always remaining exposed to external attacks; this, over time, led it to be increasingly dependent on Byzantium, so much so that already in the Byzantine era it began to be considered an offshoot of Constantinople. In 451 the Council of Chalcedon was held here. During the Fourth Crusade, Chalcedon was heavily damaged, so much so that it passed easily into Ottoman hands as early as 1353, 100 years before the Conquest of Constantinople. With the arrival of the new lords, Kadıköy became more and more part of Istanbul and a reference point for the Greek and Armenian community of the city; with the famous and sad Exchange of population between Greece and Turkey in 1923, the district obtained its present conformation, acquiring a lot of notoriety among the general public due to its most representative sports club: the Fenerbahçe, which also has its own stadium here.

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