Legends about the foundation of Istanbul


Definitely unique, Istanbul is dreamt by famous writers, painters and poets; each quarter drags you into another fantasy world…

You cannot find another city, where the sea and land make such a great match. This city is Istanbul. It did not lake too long before it was discovered by people. The history of the city goes so far back that most of the time we have no other way but too look for the truth in legends. Among the many hearsays about the foundation of the city, the most interesting one involves Solomon.

Prophet Solomon’s legend

It is related that once upon a time there was a prophet who ruled every living creature on earth, the land and the skies, the spirits and souls, in short everything or -better yet- anything…His name was Solomon (Suleiman). There was only one ruler, who refused to obey to this prophet. This was King Ankur, who lived in Maghreb, on an island in the middle of nowhere. Ankur would never abase himself in front of anyone. Having heard about this arrogant ruler, Solomon launched an expedition to Maghreb at once. Accompanied with an army, comprised of soldiers, animals, fairies and demons, he set off by his gigantic ship. Traveling over hills and dales, the convoy arrived in Maghreb. Suddenly Ankur appeared and confronted Solomon. He could not resist long to the master of people, demons, birds, seas and winds. Soon he was routed. Prophet Solomon ordered Ankur: “Leave the false belief and convert to the religion of God!”. Ankur refused to obey. In contrast, he kept acting arrogantly…. Upon this attitude. Prophet Solomon beheaded Ankur with his fire spitting sword. He confiscated all what Ankur used to have.

Ankur’s daughter

Ankur had a daughter, outstandingly beautiful. Her name was Semsiye.

Prophet Solomon married her before he went back to his homeland. However, Semsiye could not get used to this new life. She was in such great agony that she got thinner and weaker each day. Prophet could not bear seeing his wife in such a pain. So one day he said to her: “Instead of crying and wearing yourself out, tell me what your wish is!” Semsiye asked her husband to have a magnificent palace build on a unique spot.

Semsiye’s wish

Prophet Solomon addressed to the birds, fairies, demons, giants, to every single creature on earth in their own languages. He ordered each and every one of them to look for an exceptional, unrivalled place. His subjects wandered around the entire word, from north to south, from east to west. They looked at all the islands on the oceans, the Arabic Deserts, to the unreachable mountains… Finally, they found some place, surrounded by three seas, on the shores connecting Marmara to Black Sea. Here fish were playing in the glittering sea; the grass was brighter than in anywhere else.

The sad finale

Prophet Solomon had a palace build on this unprecedented spot of the world. The walls were marble. The windows and doors were made of solid gold. The ceiling and the balconies were silver plated. Semsiye started to live happily in this splendid palace. However, she still could not forget her late father. In order to remember her father all the time and to keep him alive in her heart and memory, she had a picture of her father drawn. In this painting, Ankur was welcoming the shahzadah, who wished to marry his daughter. The picture increased Semsiye’s yearning. Missing her past, Semsiye secretly started to practice her old religion. After he found out what Semsiye was doing, Solomon, the prophet of birds, seas, winds, demons, spirits and demons, had her beheaded. Later Prophet Solomon left that great and magnificent palace and returned to the Holy Land. There he died, while he was completing Masjid Al-Aqsa, he inherited from Prophet David.

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