The scale of urban transformations that suffered the city of Istanbul during the years before 2010 (the year in which this city will be “European capital of culture”) has no comparison with what we know in the rest of Europe. In a city of about 15 millions, it has been estimated that during the last 5 years there have been 1 million evictions. Residents of gecekondu neighborhoods, shanty towns “built by night” are evicted to enormous and isolated polygons, in the extreme periphery, and their deportation goes along with intents to “civilize” and normalize the population (almost always kurdish, gypsies, armenians or low-class turkish people). At the same time, in the suburbs many new residential estates are being built, gated towns, in which the middle and high classes retire, afraid of the perils that the city supposedly hides. So, while Istanbul grows and opens up to the world, the little cities that form it shrink, and withdraw into themselves.
- Istanbul: living in voluntary and involuntary exclusion describes and analizes the recent urban transformations and their impact on the residents [PDF]
- Sulukulé the oldest gyspy neighborhood in Europe, settled even before the Otoman conquer of Anatolia; it was emptied and demolished completely in 2008, its inhabitants deported 40km far away. [VIDEO] :: [BLOG]
- more documentation in Istanbul section on Documents page.