“A few hundred metres from the bustling Taksim Square in Istanbul, the sound of jackhammers reverberates through the street: demolitions in the nearby neighbourhood of Tarlabasi are under way despite legal objections from residents, architects, and human rights groups”, as ‘The Guardian’ reports.
Empty buildings, many of which date from the late 19th century and are used to house a large part of Istanbul’s former Greek population, have already been gutted, waiting for their turn. In the area’s main street, only the local barber and one cornershop still hang on, ‘The Guradian’ writes.
Tamer Bekar, a 70-year Tarlabasi resident told ‘The Guardian’: “The municipality does nothing to protect these historical buildings.” “There are not many people left but everything I have is here. I cannot go anywhere else at this age. I don’t know what to do.”
Up to 278 buildings will be demolished to make way for a high-end construction project that will include homes, offices, hotels and a shopping mall. But the Tarlabasi renewal project is just one of many in the most frenetic redevelopments Istanbul has known for a generation.