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Balat district in Istanbul, were I walked for hours on end
1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 26 Jul 2008 Sat 07:11 pm

Have a look at my personal picture file


DISTRICT HISTORY

Surrounded by Byzantine city walls from the 5th century AD to the west, the Golden Horn to the north, Fener and Balat districts are located on the historic peninsula of Istanbul. Once a focal point of the social and cultural lives of Greeks, Armenians and Jews, the Fener and Balat districts are presently inhabited by a mostly Muslim population that immigrated from other cities and rural areas.

Today, Fener and Balat districts look like dilapidated areas and face the danger of total ruin. Some buildings are already in ruins and about 20% of the construction is in poor condition. Out of the 1401 lots on the selected perimeter, there are 102 unoccupied lots (7%), 68 vacant buildings (5.4%) and 124 partially empty ones (9.7%). One of the reasons for this impoverishment is the move of naval industry from the Golden Horn to Tuzla. After then, the social and economic condition of the inhabitants worsened as well as the situation of the buildings. Due to low rents, Fener and Balat districts continue to hold a key position in the adaptation to the urban environment of a population that is poor and lacking the economic resources to carry out the necessary repair and maintenance of the architectural structure.

Many of the residents have no access to proper urban services. Sanitary equipment and health services are cruelly lacking and tuberculosis and hepatitis B are frequent among children. In winter, heavy seasonal rains and poor drainage cause flooding. The population’s standard of education is extremely low; almost a fifth of the women (1998 and 2004 socio-economic surveys) are illiterate and many children drop out of school or attend only intermittently after the age of 12.


http://www.fenerbalat.org/content.php?ct=District%20History

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