Chief among the Ottoman art-nouveau designers was an Italian, Raimondo
d'Aronco, who served as imperial architect to Sultan Abdul Hamid II between
1896 and 1908. His work was influenced by the Viennese secessionist movement
and the Italian stile floreale both branches of art nouveau which, in
Istanbul heat tempted to fuse with Turkish forms.
The most distinctive art-nouveau yali today stands in the suburb of Bebek and houses the consulate of the Arab Republic of Egypt. This yali was originally built for the last Ottoman-appointed ruler of Egypt, Khedive Abbas Hilmi II, who, following a family tradition, escaped the Egyptian summers for the cooler Bosporus.
Architecturally, the Bebek yali is an odd mix of styles, so much so that it is here that the claim of the yalis to an architectural character of their own appears finally to dissipate. The heavy mansard roof appears to have been imported from a northern French chateau. Ornate art nouveau railings run along the shore, cutting off the house and garden from the sea.
After the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the Bosporus shores continued to be a stylistic melting pot, but by that time, few yalis or apartment buildings -bore more than decorative signs of connection to the yalis of the Ottoman empire.