Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Tarlabaşı Boulevard: preparing for demolition

Three weeks ago the bright yellow concretebarrier blocks were installed over night.  A few days later they were spray-painted with the ” Tarlabaşı” development logo  and the construction company “Gap İnșaat” to the side.  The workmen started changing the layout of the road and now concrete footings are going in place along the front.

Security guards have mobed in to prevent people from lighting fires; the building blocks are going up with the development logo featuring prominantly. (Jonathan Lewis)
There is only one functioning building left along one complete section of the boulevard front; even then it’s a hotel that comes from a side-street.  Other than that most of the buildings are shells now, or “Beirut” as one resident referred to it, shaking his head in dismay at his own comparison with a city that he’d only ever seen on television during the wars that Lebanon is known for.
Whilst the residents have moved, or been moved, out.  New people have come in to the frontage; dealers and sex-workers who are new to the area and who appear able to work freely there, whilst residents who have attempted to gather fire wood have been turned away – forced to leave the wood they had already gathered behind.
The workers aren’t sure.   The demolition starts this week says one; no next week says another, the new year my friends contributes a third worker.    They may not know when the demolition will start; but it doesn’t appear to be long before the buildings will start to come down on the district and community of Tarlabaşı.

Tarlabasi Boulevard - Images by jonathan lewis

1 comment:

  1. Last week I walked around the Tarlabasi area and what I saw saddened me enormously. Historical buildings that were in a good shape are being stripped and torn down together with the ruined buildings (check also the forum on Istanbul on http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=89999928#post89999928 to see the pictures).

    Is there no way to stop these events from happening? This is NOT restoration, this is demolishing and rebuilding it in a fake Disney style. It looks ' clean' but all original features like the wooden floors, ornate ceilings, original doors, etc, are gone. I cannot believe the Istanbul municipality is doing this. They are making the same mistakes as they did in 1986 when they destroyed parts of Tarlabasi to widen the Tarlabasi Boulevard. Many historical buildings were then also destroyed.

    And the same has happened to Sulukule and is now threatening to happen to the Haydarpasa station. Every big city in the world, like New York, London, Amsterdam, Paris, has its giant old trainstation and Istanbul wants to turn hers into a shopping mall or hotel???????? How can that be allowed to happen?

    We see the old Istanbul disappearing before our very eyes. I am so angry!