“Galata” neighborhood of Istanbul has been one of the global centers of finance since 330 AD. One thousand and seven hundred years ago, during the period of the Eastern Roman Empire, Galata started to transform into a center of merchants and entrepreneurs. A neigborhood of multinational entrepreneurs and an international colony of merchants was formed much earlier than all other cities in the world.
Merchants and entrepreneurs from over 50 nations ranging from the Genoese to Venetians lived in Galata for hundreds of years. This international colony located in Galata first provided all the goods and services required by the Byzantine Empire and hosted three significant empires such as the Eastern Roman Empire, Latin Empire, and Byzantine Empire.
Galata was considered a prominent center by the Ottoman Empire both before and in the aftermath of the conquest of Istanbul.
As is known to all, certain families who had reservations about living in the city after the conquest of Istanbul abandoned their businesses and houses within Galata’s walls and left the city. One of the Ottoman Empire’s most intellectual sultans, Mehmed the Conqueror invited these merchants and entrepreneurs back to Istanbul and reassured them that they would be able to run their business smoothly within and outside the Empire. Mehmed the Conqueror and all his successors secured a peaceful and tolerant living for this international colony composed of individuals from over 50 nations. Galata neigborhood and this multinational and multicultural colony of merchants living in Galata greatly contributed to the increase in the Ottoman treasury. They supported the Empire on its path of becoming one of the most powerful empires in the world.
For centuries, Istanbul has always been a city well experienced in embracing the foreign investors and collaborating with them while enabling the legal environment required for the execution of their operations.
Invest in this ancient city if you wish to leave your mark in history
For 17 centuries, this mercantile class and the investors from over 50 nations lived as an international colony. They contributed to Istanbul and all four empires of which Istanbul had been the capital. In the 18th century, the street we know today as Bankalar Caddesi (Banks Street) was one of the fanciest in the world. Indeed, well before Paris, Vienna, St. Petersburg, and London that emerged during the 19th and 20th centuries, the present Bankalar Caddesi was a fashion center. The descendants of the entrepreneurs migrating from Galata to other countries at the beginning of the twentieth century during the reign of the Ottoman Empire created global banks such as BNP-Paribas, fashion brands like Mango, Zara, Massimo Dutti, confectionary companies such as Leonidas and brands like Smirnoff.
They invested in Istanbul, and their brands went down in history. One of the most prominent museums in Genoa, Italy, one could visit is a maritime museum “Galata – Museo del mare”. This museum is named after this neigborhood in Istanbul.
All the experiences as mentioned earlier in Istanbul’s DNA constitutes the founding philosophy of the Istanbul Investment Agency.