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Istanbul - Dutch monuments at Feriköy

The Dutch deceased and their funerary monuments that can be found in the cemetery of Feriköy today do not only come from Istanbul and the surrounding area. Between 1965 and 1974, tombstones from the Protestant cemetery in Izmir were transferred to Feriköy. This was done to ensure that the tombstones in Izmir would not be destroyed by vandalism. Some of the stones were also brought to the cemetery in Izmir, but apparently there was no place for all the stones there.

On the small corner that is established for the Dutch graves, a monument similar to a sarcophagus immediately stands out. The funerary monument is for members of the Keun family (header photo) of which several descendants filled all kinds of important posts at the Dutch embassy in the nineteenth century. That French was the official language among these families is evident from the texts that are all written in that language. The small stone for Vice-Consul Jacques Mets is also in French. He died in 1885.

Monument Baron van IttersumMonument Baron van Ittersum

A somewhat higher, neoclassical monument, surrounded by a beautiful fence, is for L.A.H. Baron van Ittersum. The text on the stone is in Dutch. Van Ittersum was chamberlain of the king and from 1878 minister-resident in the Ottoman Empire, a diplomatic function under that of ambassador and envoy. Previously, Van Ittersum was minister-resident in Madrid. He died of a stroke in Istanbul in 1881 at the age of 52.

Commemorative monument to the 1864 transferred graves from the Champs de MortCommemorative monument to the 1864 transferred graves from the Champs de Mort

On the Dutch part of the cemetery there is also a large memorial to the Dutch whose remains were transferred from the old cemetery in Istanbul. On the high four-sided monument, 44 names are mentioned, including some of well-known families such as De la Fontaine, Collyer and Van Dam. The remains were transferred in August 1864 by order of the Dutch government. The monument was probably restored not too long ago.

Monument Petrus LeytstarMonument Petrus Leytstar

A little further towards the wall are some older funerary monuments of families such as De Hochepied and Leytstar. One of the stones commemorates Johanna Baptista de Hochepied, a daughter of Daniel Jean de Hochepied (1657-1723), consul in Smyrna. Johanna died in Smyrna in 1691, but was buried in Constantinople.

A tall stone with a beautiful family coat of arms above it commemorates Pieter Leytstar. Pieter, born in Amsterdam on September 14, 1666, was an influential merchant in Istanbul. From 1685 he was a partner in the firm of Leytstar & Co. which was based in Galata and Pera. He was appointed by the board of the Directorate of Levantine Trade and Navigation in the Mediterranean as the treasurer in Constantinople. He married Cornelia Maria de la Fontaine, a daughter of another important family in Constantinople. Pieter died on 27 November 1736 and was buried in the old cemetery. Two lower text plates behind his monument are for an uncle of his and one of his daughters who died young. Incidentally, Leytstar & Co. went bankrupt in 1741 and many family members left Constantinople for Smyrna or Europe.

All in all, this cemetery not only gives an impression of the involvement of the Dutch in the Ottoman Empire, but also gives the opportunity to see something of what once stood on the magnificent Grand Champs des Morts.


Address: Cumhuriyet Mh., Ergenekon Caddesi 58, Istanbul.

Opening hours: daily, except Monday, from 08:00 to 17:00.

Accessibility: The cemetery is easiest to reach by metro that goes to Osmanbey. When you reach the Osmanbey stop and go up via the stairs, on the right you will see a walled area in front of you. This is the French Catholic cemetery. If you walk around this wall to the back of the Catholic cemetery, you will see another walled area with a gate with a cross on it. This is the entrance to the Protestant cemetery.


History of the cemetery.



  • Obreen, H.G.A.; Grafschriften van Nederlanders te Constantinopel, in: De Nederlandsche Leeuw, volume 22, 1904




Reference: SC-TUR-003


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