Phanar or Fanar (both: făn´ər, fənär´), Greek quarter of Constantinople (now Istanbul). Under the Ottoman Empire, Phanar was the residence of the privileged Greek families, called Phanariots. They came into prominence in the late 17th cent. and held influential positions until the Greek war of independence began in 1821. The city is still the site of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople.