Art and design inspiration from around the world – CreativeRoots

Inspired by - Turkey

1920s illustrations of Instanbul

Posted by rod - 30.08.2010

Beautiful images of Istanbul from the 1920’s. Depicting the everyday culture of Turkey. Thanks Cara for getting in-touch.

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14 Comments (add yours?)

please change this title because our city’s name Ä°stanbul not Constantinople :( there are turkish people’s country respect please

  • From: rod
  • Sep 23, 2010

Hi Muzrek

Thanks for all your comments. The reason why Constantinople appears in the title, is because in 1920 when these images where produced Istanbul was called Constantinople. I hope you understand.

Hi rod,
I dont know who told you that in 1920 Istanbul was called Constantinople; but since 1453 this city called Ä°stanbul and this city is not the “city of Constantin”. If you want some details please read :
Islambol (lots of Islam) or Islambul (find Islam) were folk-etymological adaptations of Istanbul created after the Ottoman conquest of 1453 to express the city’s new role as the capital of the Islamic Ottoman empire. It is first attested shortly after the conquest, and its invention was ascribed by some contemporary writers to Sultan Mehmed II himself. Some Ottoman sources of the 17th century, most notably Evliya Çelebi, describe it as the common Turkish name of the time. Between the late 17th and late 18th centuries, it was also in official use. The first use of the word “Islambol” on coinage took place in 1703 (1115AH) during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III. The term Kostantiniyye still appeared, however, into the twentieth century.

REF : Bourne, Edward G. (1887). “The Derivation of Stamboul”. American Journal of Philology (The Johns Hopkins University Press)

  • From: rod
  • Oct 18, 2010

Hi Mehment
Thanks for the additional information. Reading even deeper into what Wikipedia has got to say, I guess that’s where you also got your info from. I guess I now know why I used Constantinople instead of Istanbul.

“After the creation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the various alternative names besides Ä°stanbul became obsolete in the Turkish language. With the Turkish Postal Service Law of March 28, 1930, the Turkish authorities officially requested foreigners to cease referring to the city with their traditional non-Turkish names (such as Constantinople, Tsarigrad, etc.) and to adopt Istanbul as the sole name also in their own languages.[11] Letters or packages sent to “Constantinople” instead of “Istanbul” were no longer delivered by Turkey’s PTT, which contributed to the eventual worldwide adoption of the new name.”

I’m happy to change the title.



  • From: ken carpenter
  • Dec 13, 2010

who is the artist and what is known of him? I have three examples of these scenes and am wondering how to dispose of them.

  • From: rod
  • Dec 13, 2010

Good question Ken. I would also love to know who the Artist is. Anyone???

the name of the artist is mitrich..but these are the copies of orijinals…ı am collecting and researching about this artist if anyone has it and consider to sell, i will be interested..thank you..

you cant see the name of constantinople or istanbul in orijinal painti,ngs…these are the copies of it..there are lots of copies of the same painting..


  • From: i.c.
  • Feb 15, 2014

Dear Rod,

The Ottomans referred to Istanbul as Kostantiniyye, i.e. Constantinople, until the twentieth century. So please ignore the nationalistic rubbish that appears above. That the city was called Istanbul after 1453 is total nonsense. All one has to do is look at coins minted in the city. Not one from that period says Istanbul.

That aside, I would very very much like the bear dancing image, if it is yours and you might consider selling it. Just name your price.

Take cae,


This is addressed to Zeynep
We have a copy or possibly original of painting: Two gentlemen carrying sailors back to ship in what looks like back packs. Very colorful and great facial expressions. No title – just Constantinople 1920 far right hand corner. Painting appears to be a watercolor on very good paper.
My husband picked it up while he served in the navy – probably on a Med cruise (the 1950 or early 60s). Can you give me any info.
Thank you and looking forward to your reply.

  • From: Gina
  • Jul 21, 2016

How much are these pictures worth

  • From: Sue
  • Dec 12, 2016

I have three of these pictures, can you tell me more about them?

For the record, the subject of these paintings is Nasreddin or Nasreddin Hodja was a Seljuq satirical Sufi, born in Hortu Village in Sivrihisar, Eskişehir Province, present-day Turkey and died in 13th century in Akşehir, near Konya, a capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, in today’s Turkey. The Greeks of Asia Minor embraced the lovely and sometimes funny stories about him. He is the subject of most, if not all of these.

on the back of one of my pictures it says osman (a?)lar Zamanima at least that is what it looks like

  • From: Sue
  • Sep 08, 2018

I also have three of these in original framing with the same lettering on the back. Would love to know more about them. Someone found them in a basement years ago.

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