From the 19th century onwards, Moda has been one of the most distinguished neighborhoods of Istanbul. The Khalkedon Racing Club, one of the first sailing clubs of the city; and the first incarnation of the Moda Maritime Club, that brought the district’s inhabitants together; were both founded in this neighborhood. Before long, the Moda Sea-Bath and Beach introduced the people of Kadıköy to the sea.
It is mentioned that the first sea-bath on Istanbul’s Anatolian coast was set up on Moda by an Armenian named Hayik. Yet the area truly came alive in the Republican years. Captain İhsan Akdağ and his Levantine partner took steps toward establishing a new sea-bath in the Moda Bay. This facility contained a women’s sea-bath surrounded by canvas partitions, a diving tower, a pool for children, a gazino, and a coffee house.
During the transition from sea hammams to beaches, sports activities became prominent. Soon, Moda became the center of sea sports on Istanbul’s Anatolian side. The first swimming contest between Hungary and Turkey was held here in 1937. Many swimmers and springboard divers gained fame and became champions of Turkey on this beach. The Turkish Cabotage Day was celebrated on 1st of July, and swimming competitions were organized in Moda Bay. Apart from these sports events, the beach was also well-known as an entertainment venue.
Curated by Zafer Toprak, Istanbul’s Seaside Leisure: Nostalgia from Sea Baths to Beaches exhibition could be visited at Pera Museum and İstanbul Research Institute between 5 April – 26 August 2018.