Inspired by the Cormorant Bird...

About Us

Karabatak is a coffee shop located in Karaköy, Beyoğlu district of Istanbul.

This 2-storey old building, which is located in an area of approximately 800 square metres with small shops around it, was previously an abandoned metal workshop and industrial spare parts shops.

It started the renovation of these old abandoned workshops in 2010 and opened its doors as a cafe in June 2011.

The Cormorant is the symbol bird of Istanbul and you can see many of them diving into the sea to fish in the Bosphorus. The English word for cormorant is "Cormorant".

History of Karaköy Region

Karaköy, the modern name of the former Galata, is a commercial neighbourhood in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, on the European side of the Bosphorus, north of the mouth of the Golden Horn.

Karakoy is one of the oldest and most historic districts of the city and today is an important commercial and transport hub. The area is connected to the surrounding neighbourhoods through the streets leading from Karaköy Square. The Galata Bridge connects Karaköy to Eminönü to the southwest, Tersane Street to the west, Azapkapı to the west, Voyvoda Street to Şişhane to the northwest, Yüksek Kaldırım Street, Kemeraltı Street and Necatibey Street to the north, and Tophane to the northeast. Originally a meeting place for banks and insurance companies in the 19th century, today the commercial neighbourhood is also home to suppliers of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and electronic parts.

Karaköy, a harbour area across the Golden Horn from Constantinople since Byzantine times, when the northern shore of the Golden Horn was a separate settlement. After the conquest of the city from the Latin Empire in 1261, the Byzantine emperor granted permission to Genoese merchants to settle and do business in this location as part of a defence pact.

The area developed rapidly and the Genoese built solid fortifications to protect themselves and their warehouses. Parts of the Genoese walls can still be seen, but the highest and strongest point of the walls, the Galata Tower, is the most visible of all. In the 15th century Galata looked just like an Italian city.

In 1455, immediately after the conquest of Constantinople, there were three categories of population in the district: temporarily Genoese, Genoese, Venetian and Catalan merchants; Genoese of Ottoman citizenship; Greeks, Armenians and Jews. The composition of the population soon changed and according to the 1478 census, almost half of the district's population was Muslim. After 1500, more Sephardic Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition settled here.

Karaköy experienced a second wave of Christian influx (1854-1856) when Allied British, French and Italian forces arrived in Istanbul to fight in the Crimean War. The lack of piers made the evacuation of troops and military equipment difficult. In 1879 a French company received a concession to build the quay at Karaköy, which was completed in 1891.

In the last decade of the 19th century, Karaköy developed itself into a banking district. The Ottoman Bank established its headquarters here, and Italian and Austrian insurance companies opened branches.

In the early 20th century, with increasing trade activity, the harbour was expanded with customs buildings, passenger terminals and marine warehouses. Karaköy also became famous for its Greek taverns along the docks.

After 1917, thousands of White Russians fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution landed here and settled in the area.