I love my half-underground apartment in Çeliktepe, but I have to admit, if I could live in any neighborhood in Istanbul I would live in Tarlabaşı, the ghetto where I attend a Turkish church. Historically it was a wealthy Armenian and Greek neighborhood, but as Orthodox Christian minorities were forced to leave Turkey during the early Republic era it became a ghetto largely inhabited by Kurds and Roma people. It’s also a haven for transvestites, sex workers, and other people employed in more dubious professions. In short, it makes me homesick for Louisville’s Shelby Park neighborhood.

Today I stumbled upon this video of David Smith of the Affordable Housing Institute talking about the gentrification of Tarlabaşı that is happening now. I was surprised to hear how well informed he is and how he also has a very integrated vision for the future of the community.  I hope the Turkish Housing Authority (TOKİ) listens to his advice.

David Smith in Tarlabasi, Istanbul. On urbanisation & slums from Tarlabasi Istanbul on Vimeo.

HT: Pax Urbanus


About mjbutterworth

Coffee. Books. Bicycles.
This entry was posted in Istanbul, Turkey and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tarlabaşı

  1. Julie Donovan says:

    Wonderful insights. Would love to know who is lobbying this cause with TOKi. Maybe something right up your alley, M!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s