Istanbul, economic and cultural capital of Turkey, second fastest growing country after China, an estimated 17 million inhabitants and 30% of national GDP. As only one million people used to live there in the 50’s and although its assimilation power is overwhelmed, it is today the main destination to an increasing rural migration.
And Istanbul is now paying for the last two decades of chaotic urbanization politics: massive trafic jams, growing wealth discrepancies, altered urban landscapes and lost surrounding nature, an alarming lack of energy autonomy as well as over exploitation of the Bosphorous. And since no efficient enough solution could be found to keep control over migrating flow, the urban transformations are mostly at the expense of the poorest following the lines of a system implemented by current government and entirely devoted to growth and economic development.
As construction sites can be seen all over the city, historical and popular areas are demolished to be rebuilt for a wealthier population, pushing out of Istanbul entire communities, sometimes as far as 40 or 50 km away from the city centre.
Turkey’s and Istanbul’s unique context and development circumstances have created a very rapidly changing situtation in which the decisions made will have a great impact on a very long term.
Photography and written by Raphael Fournier
Raphael is represented by Divergence