Selimiye Barracks
Selimiye Barracks, also known as Scutari Barracks ( Turkish: Selimiye Kışlası) is a Turkish army barracks located in the Üsküdar district on the Asian part of Istanbul, Turkey. It was built first in 1800 by Sultan Selim III for the soldiers of the newly established regular army in frame of the Ottoman military reform efforts " Nizam-ı Cedid" (literally "New Order").

The initially wooden barracks constructed by the renowned Armenian architect Krikor Balyan was burnt down in 1806 by revolting Janissaries, who were against the reforms. Ordered by Sultan Mahmud II, rebuilding of the barracks in stone began in 1825 and it was completed on February 6, 1828. It is a gigantic rectangle building (200 x 267 metres) with a large parade ground in the center. The structure has three floors on three wings and two floors only on the eastern wing due to inclined terrain. During the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid I, the barracks were renovated twice, first in 1842”“1843 and again in 1849”“1850. During this process, a tower seven stories in height was added to each of the four corners, giving the barracks the look they have today.

Crimean War
During the Crimean War (1854-1856), the barracks was allocated to the British Army, which was on the way from Britain to the Crimea. After the troops of the 33rd and 41st left for the front, the barracks was converted into a temporary military hospital. On November 4, 1854, Florence Nightingale arrived in Scutari with 38 volunteer nurses. They cared for thousands of wounded and infected soldiers, and drastically reduced the high mortality rate by improving the sanitary living conditions until she returned home in 1857 as a heroine. Around 6,000 soldiers died in the Selimiye Barracks during the war, mostly as the result of cholera epidemic. The dead were buried at a plot next to the barracks, which became later the Haydarpaşa Cemetery. Today, the northmost tower of the barracks is a museum.

During the Republican period, the Selimiye Barracks has been used for different purposes like secondary school and prison. Today, it serves as the headquarters of the commander of the First Army.

Selimiye Barracks is situated in the Harem neighborhood between Üsküdar and Kadıköy, close to the Sea of Marmara. The highway connecting the ferryboat terminal and overland bus terminal to the motorway Istanbul-Ankara (O-2) runs close beside the barracks.

Building Activity

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