Taksim Square is an important landmark of the modern Istanbul and also considered as the heart of Istanbul city center. Many shops, cafes and restaurants are in or near Taksim Square and on Istiklal Street, and there is a local bus terminal for public transportation and the main subway station. Istiklal Pedestrian Street has many shops, bars, night clubs and movie theaters therefore it's always busy almost for 24 hours a day. Taxim Square is also the meeting place for parades, public concerts and other shows.
The most important monument in Taksim Square is the Independence Monument, standing at in just the middle of Taksim Square. On its south face overlooking the Siraselviler Street, there is Atatürk, Ismet Inönü and Fevzi Çakmak in the front and other figures behind them symbolizing the foundation of the Republic. On the north façade overlooking at Cumhuriyet Street, the War of Independence is symbolized. On the east and west façades, the Turkish Army is symbolized with a soldier holding the Turkish Flag.
This is also the turnaround point for the npstalgic tram which is the only vehicle permitted on Istiklal Street beside official (police and government) cars.
During the late Ottoman period Sultan Mahmut the First, arranged Taksim as a point where the main water lines from north of Istanbul were collected and branched off to other districts of the city. Therefore the Square took its name from the big stone reservoir located on the west side of the square (Taksim means distribution in Turkish).