Sisli, a prosperous residential and commercial district, has two Jewish sites, the Sisli Beth Israel Synagogue and the Italian Jewish Cemetery. Beth Israel Synagogue at Efe Sokak No. 4, a modern building, is the center of today's Jewish community of Istanbul in a desirable residential area.
The Italian Jewish Cemetery, marked by a monumental Baroque gate above the roadway, has tombstones with inscription in Italian, English, French, German, Russian, and Latin. (The caretakers have the key.) Founded to serve about 400 Jewish families, who arrived from the Crimea in 1854-55, Sultan Abdülaziz transferred the site to the Italian Jewish Association. The well-kept cemetery is still active.
- Italian Jewish Cemetery: Sisli (SHEESH-lee) is a prosperous residential and commercial district 2.5-km north of Taksim Square.Take a taxi to Sisli Meydani (Sisli Square), then continue northward a few hundred meters (by taxi or on foot) along Abidei Hürriyet Caddesi to the Italian Jewish Cemetery, marked by a monumental gate set above the roadway on the east (right-hand) side. ...Behind the Baroque entrance to the Italian Jewish Cemetery are tombstones engraved with names and epitaphs in Italian, English, French, German, Russian and Latin. (If the gate is not open, look for the caretaker.) Many famous Istanbullus of the nineteenth century are buried here. The cemetery was founded originally to serve 400 Jewish families who had emigrated from the Crimea to Istanbul in 1854-55, but it was later dedicated to the use of the Italian Jewish Association by order of Sultan Abdülaziz. The cemetery is well kept by resident custodians, and is still used for burials. It makes an interesting visit, and yields special insight into the history of the city's Jewish community.
- http://www.sephardicstudies.org/walking.html [September 2002].