Over 800 destroyed houses, hundreds of abandoned buildings, open fires in the streets, kids playing in the piles of debris and garbage… Fikirtepe, a part of Istanbul on the Asian side of the city, looks more like a bombing zone than a residential area. It has become a stage for one of the major transformation projects in the city played by the municipality and dozens of contractors. According to their plan, this very lively working class neighborhood, infamous for its illegally built housing stock and high crime rate should become a shiny area filled with luxurious residential towers. About one third of the Fikirtepe’s population has been evacuated. But it has not become a ghost town. There is still life in its streets: Garbage collectors picking up what others left behind and sorting it out to earn some money with it, kids playing and teenagers hanging out at the street corners, even several Syrian refugees settled down in the abandoned houses.
Thanks to my friends, Serkan Senturk and Caner Özkan, freelance photographers based in Istanbul I was able to visit Fikirtepe in March of this year and to capture the atmosphere of this place. (All pictures have been taken with the Fujifilm x100s.)
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