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The mysterious tunnel of Istiklal Street, Istanbul

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    The mysterious tunnel of Istiklal Street, Istanbul

    Istiklal Street, a vibrant and historic thoroughfare nestled in the heart of Istanbul, stands as a testament to the city's rich cultural tapestry and dynamic energy. Lined with an eclectic mix of century-old buildings, modern boutiques, bustling cafes, and lively street performers, Istiklal Street serves as a microcosm of Istanbul's past, present, and future. Its pedestrian-friendly layout invites visitors to stroll leisurely along its bustling sidewalks, immersing themselves in the sights, sounds, and aromas of this bustling urban oasis. During the refurbishment of Rumeli Han, constructed in 1894 and situated on İstiklal Street, the unearthing of a tunnel beneath the edifice has captivated the curiosity of visitors.
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    Commissioned by Sarıcazade Ragıp Pasha, the chief chamberlain of Sultan Abdülhamid II, Rumeli Han stands as a symbol of Ottoman expansion across three continents. Speculation abounds regarding the tunnel's historical function, with rumors suggesting clandestine passages for nobles and affluent individuals between structures.
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    Following its discovery, the tunnel garnered protection from the High Council of Monuments and is now slated for cultural and artistic utilization. Serving as a historic nexus for luminaries from the realms of art and politics, Rumeli Han remains a cherished meeting place. Although conjecture exists about interconnecting tunnels with neighboring inns, such claims await substantiation. Uncovered during foundational reinforcement efforts, the tunnel aligns seamlessly with Beyoğlu's cultural ethos, envisaged for hosting exhibitions and musical performances.
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