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For much of Istanbul’s history, Sisli and the area just north of Taksim Square were open countryside used mostly as hunting grounds. These days, Sisli and its chic streets are considered the very heart of contemporary Istanbuli life, where an epicenter of fashion and a thriving business district meet to create an expressly “downtown” feel. Though largely a residential neighborhood, luxury hotels, fine dining
restaurants, and upscale shops abound with many of them situated inside or nearby Cevahir Istanbul, the biggest shopping mall in Europe and second biggest urban shopping mall in the world. Shopaholics and fashionistas travel from near and far to browse the area's mix of major global brand items and creations by popular Turkish designers.