Urban Transformation Law, which is one of the current issues in Turkey today, requires the demolition of old and dilapidated buildings and slums inhabited by low-income classes and ethnic minorities and replacement of these buildings with new and earthquake resistant houses, office buildings and shopping centers. The current inhabitants of these slums are required to move to other places, mostly outside the city limits.
The buildings and the neighborhoods that will be destroyed all over the country within the framework of this law is a reminder of some of the realities that Turkey has ignored for years. It draws attention to the living conditions of the people who have been forgotten, socially and politically oppressed, and abandoned to struggle with city they live in, as well as the playgrounds where children play far from hygiene. It also shows how physically and socially imbalanced Turkey has evolved as it has become quite normal to see skyscrapers and expensive restaurants within a few hundred meters of these slums. The decay and dilapidation that looks like the aftermath of a war is actually the outcome of a battle that is fueled by the imprisonment of these neighborhoods by industrialization and urbanization that have negligently surrounded and confined them and left no air to breathe. Years of absence of a solution or care by the government institutions for these slums have brought not only poor living conditions but also other problems such as unemployment, lack of integration, child labor, lack of education and high crime rate. As the Urban Transformation is underway, it should be noted that simply transforming the walls, bricks and concrete will not bring an end to years of social despair but will only cause new slums to form in wherever these people will be required to move.
For the full series, please visit ‘Urban Transformation’ gallery on my website;
The photo was taken on Kodak TriX 400 and developed in Kodak d76 in 1:1 solution for 9:45 minutes.