Beşiktaş (pronounced 'Besh-ik-tash') is a district of Istanbul, Turkey located on the European side of the city, by the coast of the Bosphorus.
Beşiktaş district council administers a number of key locations running up the Bosphorus on the European side (from Dolmabahçe Palace up to Bebek) and the land on the hills behind these settlements. Thus, the district includes some of İstanbul's best-known spots, such as Arnavutköy, Bebek, Etiler, Levent (all parts), Ortaköy, Ulus, and Yıldız. Beşiktaş has a population of 190,813 (2000 census).
The name literally means "cradle-stone" in Turkish; "beşik" being "cradle" and "taş" being "stone". There are Byzantine records of a church here that carried a name which meant the same thing in Greek; Kounopetra (cradle-stone); and it would have been built in honor of a relic, a stone reportedly taken from the stable in Nazareth where Jesus was born. The stone was later removed to Hagia Sophia and disappeared during the Fourth Crusade, possibly to be transmogrified into wood and to be sold in Europe's brisk trade of relics. Nevertheless, the memory of the manger where Jesus was born lives on in the Turkish name of Beşiktaş