Definition of Phanar in US English:


(also Fener)


  • 1The area of Istanbul which became the chief Greek quarter after the Ottoman Conquest; the Greek official class under the Turks, through whom the affairs of the Christian population in the Ottoman Empire were largely administered.

  • 2The seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople after the Ottoman conquest; the patriarch himself.


Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Ultimately from modern Greek Φανάρι, lit. ‘lighthouse, lantern’ (goes to Turkish fener) from medieval Greek ϕανάριον + -άριον, extended form of -ιον, diminutive suffix); the area was named after a lighthouse on the Golden Horn.