Istanbul Gentrifies a 1,000-Year-Old Roma Neighborhood

<p>'Ottoman villas' are going up, and the world's largest Roma settlement is moving out - to suburban apartments.</p>
June 16, 2008, 1pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"The Sulukule quarter, in the city's historic district, is undergoing what the local municipality calls "urban transformation," a plan that calls for flattening the entire neighborhood that houses 5,000 people. It would be replaced with 620 "Ottoman style" villas – modern parlance for upscale residences. The project – financed by the municipality and the Turkish government's housing development agency – is to be completed in time for 2010, when the rapidly growing and prospering Istanbul becomes the European Capital of Culture for a year."

...

"For centuries – some researchers believe even a millennium – Sulukule has been a predominantly Roma enclave, famous for its musicians and dancers. It even played a bit part in the 1963 James Bond film "From Russia with Love," in which the debonair spy watches an alfresco belly-dancing performance by the city walls."

Full Story:
Published on Monday, June 9, 2008 in The Christian Science Monitor
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email