Arnavutköy (meaning "Albanian village" in Turkish) is a historic neighbourhood in Istanbul, Turkey, famous for its wooden Ottoman mansions and seafood restaurants, as well as the campus of the prestigious Robert College with its centennial buildings. It is part of the Be?ikta? district of Istanbul, and is located between Ortaköy and Bebek on the European shoreline of the Bosphorus strait.
During the Byzantine period, the village has been known with the Greek names Hestai, Promotu, and Anaplus.
The population, in a publication of the ?irket-i Hayriye (Istanbul Ferryboat Company) written just before the First World War, was given as 493 Turks and Muslims in 168 households, and 5973 Greeks in 975 households. Arnavutköy also had a large Jewish community during most of the Ottoman period, but many Jews moved away after the great Arnavutköy fire of 1877.
Arnavutköy was historically famous for its Ottoman strawberry, a less juicy and smaller kind than the usual strawberries found throughout Turkey. To date, some strawberry fields survive in the inland of the district and every spring local groceries are pillaged by strawberry lovers.
In 1863, Robert College, which is the oldest American school outside the United States, was established in its current campus which originally stretched from Arnavutköy to the vicinity of Bebek and Rumelihisar?. In 1971, a section of this campus became part of Bo?aziçi University, which was formerly the college section of the school. The high school section, formerly named Robert Academy (RA) is still an American school and is located in the Arnavutköy side of the historic Robert College (RC) campus.
Arnavutköy's cosmopolitan population began to disappear, with the emigration of the non-Muslim minority groups.
After the establishment of Israel in 1948, the Jewish population decreased rapidly. The riots of 1955 caused the emigration of many members of Istanbul's minority groups, including Arnavutköy's Greeks and Armenians. There are very few non-Muslims left today.
Its legacy, being one of the historic neighbourhoods of Istanbul, is that mosques, a church and a synagogue are within close proximity.
The sidewalk by the sea is always full of individuals fishing, while small fishing boats frequently pass by Arnavutköy's coastline on the Bosphorus. The fresh fish that's caught can sometimes be sold to the seafood restaurants in the area.