PlacesTopography of Memory

Transformation of Istiklal Avenue

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More and more shops and Cafés are closing on İstiklal Avenue.

The lack of Tourists is affecting the business. Besides Beyoğlu is undergoing a Transformation that makes İstiklal Avenue unattractive as a shopping and strolling area.

Masses of people are populating the Street every day. But not for shopping. People are demonstrating, meeting others, going to the next Bar or just hang around. The crowd is undefinite and anonymous.

Some major gentrification projects changed the surface of the place a lot. The building block where the Emek Cinema was located for example was replaced by Demirören shopping mall. Half of the mall is empty today due to the unpopularity of the place. Inci Pastahanesi had to move to a side street and lost its popularity. The Roumelie Han was emptied for being rebuilt as a Hotel. Lot’s of independend artist communities lost a valuable space.

The museum Salt had to close due to complainments of the muncipiality about some mistakes in the construction.

The inhabitants of Beyoğlu started avoiding the İstiklal Avenue.

What happened here in the past?

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 In the 1920th İstiklal Avenue was one of the most popular Places for shopping and going out in Istanbul.

In 1955 most of the Greek minority left due to the raiding of their shops as a clash of nationalism. The strong migration inside of Turkey changed the topography of the city. Beyoğlu and the İstiklal caddesi changed to a place for everybodies entertainment.

After 2000 it got an international hot spot, Beyoğlu became one of the most popular going out areas worldwide.

2013 Taksim Square and İstiklal Caddesi were a platform for mass demonstrations.The Protests started end of April when the police prevented a protest against the demolition of the Gezi Park beside Taksim Square violently.

In 2016 a bomb attack by the IS hit the street, in summer the failed coup d’etat and the state of emergency hit tourism. The tremendous presence of security forces is lowering the enthusiasm to use İstiklal Avenue as a demonstration space and started irritating the last tourists present in the city as well.

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