Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The Bosphorus straits divides the city into a part that sits on the European continent, and a larger part on the continent of Asia. The militarily and economically strategic position of the city, on the western portion of the Silk Road, and on the shipping route between the Aegean and Black Seas, has kept it cosmopolitan and prosperous since its foundation 660 BCE, when it was called Byzantium. In 330 it became Constantinople, the capital of the Roman Empire, named for Emperor Constantine the Great. The Ottomans conquered the city in 1453/857 AH and renamed the city Istanbul. It served as their capital until Ankara became the capital of the modern nation of Turkey.
Part of the residential kulliye - educational complex - developed around the Kavak Palace of Uskudar established during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, by Sinan. The structure had been subject to modifictions and alterations, particularly during the 19th century. Restoration work, begun in 1968, aimed at re-establishing the original character of the house while adapting the spaces to the standard of contemporary living accommodation. An approach, which is analogous to the Tahmis method in Ottoman poetry, where new verses are added to an original poem, enriching it and adapting it to current use.
The west façade of Curuksulu Yalisi is situated on an old wall overlooking the peninsula and the Sea of Marmara. Restoration work revealed that parts of the structure, such as the wooden, corner columns at first floor level, date back to the sixteenth century. However, major alterations in the 1920's were implemented by the Tirnakcizadeler family, who divided the structure between their heirs. Consequently, demolitions were necessary to re-establish and distinguish the volume of the original structure. A 1930's addition, apparent on the east façade, was modified at first floor level to create a visual separation between the original structure and the later addition; similarly, the roof was modified, and these two changes reinforce the cubic aspect, which is an architectural peculiarity of the house. Other smaller, though nonetheless inappropnate modifications such as balconies on the west façade, the first floor fireplace, and a glass partition dividing the entrance hall were all removed. Authentic wooden shutters replaced the existing Venetian blinds. The façade colour is ast boyasi, the dark red colour often used in Ottoman, Istanbul timber construction.