From the seventeenth until the middle of the twentieth century, the majority of the population in the İstanbul district of Balat was Jews. It was after the Ayazma Kapı (Gate of the Sacred Spring) fire in 1660 that the Jews were settled in Balat and Hasköy.
Galata is used to be the last totally Jewish neighborhood of İstanbul since 1960’s. The name of the Galata come from “Gala” which means milk. According to researches, there were milkmen and cow farms on this area during the Byzantine times.
Hasköy with the old name of Picridion is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in İstanbul. The name of Hasköy means “Imperial Village”, it was a beautiful and matchless town.Vineyards and forests covered these gentle slopes on the northeast shore of the Golden Horn in Byzantine times.
Kuzguncuk , located at the Anatolian side of the Bosphorus, has always been a center for the Jews where they began to live as early as the 17th century. Kuzguncuk, known as ‘’ Bella Vista ‘’ in the early ages, was considered as the last stop to reach the holy land and people wanted to live here or bequeathed to be buried at this place.
The neighborhood of Haydarpaşa, whose history goes back 130 years, was flooded with people after the Great Kuzguncuk fire on August 7th, 1872. We know that in the year 1890, there were around two hundred (Jewish) families living in this neighborhood who practiced their religion at a house they rented.