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Former Ottoman districts

The former Ottoman districts were once inhabited by the Turks of the city.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1912 Muslims were the second largest community in the city after Jews. There were 45,867 Muslims who accounted for 29% of the city's population.

    1917 The Muslim population did not exceed 30,000.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The area of ​​Ano Poli (Upper Town) has been considered ideal since Byzantine times, not only because of the climate, but also because of the security provided by the citadel. During the Ottoman years, most houses belonged to Turks or Islamized Jews (Donmehs). After the population exchange between Greece and Turkiye [Turkey] (1924), the Turks and Donmehs went to Turkiye (Turkey) and were replaced by Greek refugees. Only a very few original folk houses of traditional Balkan architecture are preserved. Until the declaration of Ano Poli as a listed settlement, many of them were converted into apartment buildings and some had already burned down in the fire of 1917. During the last decades, neo-traditional architecture is more evident, i.e. newer buildings that imitate the old ones, often with obvious contemporary design influences.

What I can't see

The first Muslims of the city came after 1430 from Giannitsa and settled on lands, which belonged to the monasteries of Thessaloniki until then. Later, Jews and a few Christians also arrived here. The structure of the houses was not very different from that of the Byzantine period, i.e. a central courtyard and several rooms around it. Thessaloniki had the glory of being the capital of the region’s Muslims and gathered their elite, as well as powerful imams. After the annexation of Thessaloniki to Greece, the Muslims lost administrative privileges, but they maintained their activities, their businesses, they actively participated in the economic and social life of the city and had a strong presence in trade and labour unions. The Greek state gave “space” to community autonomy and consensus, where the common interest united. The Treaty of Lausanne (1924) and the exchange of populations, however, came to turn the tables.


Ζafeiris Ch., (2014), Θεσσαλονίκη, η παρουσία των απόντων, η κληρονομιά Ρωμαίων, Μουσουλμάνων, Εβραίων, Ντονμέδων, Φράγκων, Αρμενίων και Σλάβων, [Thessaloniki, the presense of the absent, the heritage of Romans, Muslims, Jews, Doenme, Franks, Armenians and Slavs], Thessaloniki: Epikentro


Theodoridis P., (2013), Θεσσαλονίκη, διήγηση ενός αιώνα, [Thessaloniki, a narration of a century] Thyrathen


Tsitelikis A., (2015), Οι μουσουλμάνοι της Θεσσαλονίκης (1912- 2012), μια διακεκομμένη και άβολη παρουσία, [Muslims of Thessaloniki (1912- 2012), an intermittent and uncomfortable presence] in Kairidis D. (2015), (επ), Θεσσαλονίκη, μια πόλη σε μετάβαση, 1912- 2012, [Thessaloniki, a city in transition, 1912-2012], OFF, PEEV, Νavarino Network, Epikentro, p. 379- 390