Home Up ÅÍÔÕÐÙÓÅÉÓ ÐÅÑÉÅ×ÏÌÅÍÁ ÅÉÊÏÍÅÓ 1821 &  Ì. ÑÅÕÌÁ

THE ORAL HISTORY

    Home Up

OF ARNAVUTKÖY

THE DOCUMENTARY OF ARNAVUTKÖY

Introduction

Located on the European shores of the Bosphorus between Kuruçeşme and Akıntıburnu, Arnavutköy is one of the most important historic villages of Istanbul, which has always had multi-ethnic population since Greek community firstly inhabited it in the 4th Century. Although modernization movement in cities influenced this suburban neighbourhood, it succeeded to retain its architectural and historic fabric to a large extent. On the other hand, big migration of its Senior Citizens to their homeland in recent years results in some small changes in Arnavutköy. To learn more about how the dwellers of Arnavutköy are affected recently, the citizens from different ethnic groups who resided most of their lives in the neighbourhood were interviewed by asking them to recollect about themselves, their daily lives and to tell the difference between the past and the present in Arnavutköy in terms of their relationships, problems, social lives in the presence of the research group with a video camera.

The history of Arnavutköy was started with the first settlements of Greek community in Arnavutköy in the 4th Century with its first name: Hestai. After that time this neigbourhood took the names Promotu and Anaplus respectively. Due to the fact that the stream in Bosphorus gets the highest degree from the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea near the shore of village, the place was called Mega Revma, which means big stream in Roman dwellers’ time. The present name of the place is emerged after the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottoman Empire in 1453. The name Arnavutköy is derived from the fact that the Conqueror Sultan Mehmet resettled the place first by Albanian people in 1468.
Another point that makes Arnavutköy remarkable is that it used to be famous for its fragrant strawberry, woods, orchards and marked gardens in the past however it is still one of the greenest places on the Bosphorus with a picturesque atmosphere with its architectural and historic fabric such as Yalis and churches.

 ARCHITECTURE

       Houses

Arnavutköy, is a town that has been able to protect its architectural identity against the mercilessness of the history. With wooden houses on the shore way, Arnavutköy gives visitors some clues about the architectural variety of the Ottoman Capital. Because of the big fire in 1887, many of the constructions were demolished. Altough almost all of these houses are Greek houses, very few of them resemble the Greek character that we see in Athens and Agean islands. Like the Greeks in Istanbul, Greek people in Arnavutköy have prefered the style of the last period of the Ottoman Empire.
An apartment house named “K. Stavridu” that was built in 1921 by G. Kovvas, is one of the first apartment houses in Arnavutköy.

       Taksiarhis Church

Before the conquest of Istanbul, this church that was outside the city walls, was destroyed because of the skirmishes around the city. In 1452, for the building of the fort, some stones of the destroyed church has been used.
Thanks to an inscription that is on the right out wall of the church, we realize that the church was repaired by a man called Manuel from the Epir’s city Kastorya. Church was on fire two times in 18th century. A year after the repair in 1796, it was on fire again with the trees in its yard. People spent 77249 Turkish piastres to repair it and in February 1798 it was ready for the worship but after a while the church was on fire again. By the support of the Sultan Selim, the church was rebuilt but because of the economic problems it was not completed until the middle of the 19th century. In 1834 and 1845, the town people repaired the church and the great earthquake destroyed the church badly in 1894. Therefore, between 1895-1899 Greek people in Arnavutköy helped as much as they could in order to repair it. The church, that was symbolizing the big population and economic power of Greeks, was one of the biggest Greek churches in Istanbul.
The wooden entrance of the church was added by the economic support of the Bostancıoğlu family. At the left side of the main entrance door, there is a fountain with 3 taps and a marble storehouse that have been built in 1964 by the Ayios Trifonos Brotherhood Association and attributed to protector of the gardeners Saint Ayios Trifonos. Kostaki  Pasha and some people from his family are lying under the church.

       Profiti Ilias Church

The second church of Arnavutköy is surrounded with great plane trees on a hill. This church was built by the architect Pashalis in 1871. It has a small dome and in its yard,  there are three monumental graves.
At the left side of the main entrance door, there is Profiti Ilias Ayazma that is known as Great Ayazma  by Turks. That ayazma is famous with its healing water. In the past every year in July 20th, Greeks from different places were visiting the ayazma and donating big amounts of money to Arnavutköy Greek Congregation because of the Profiti Ilias Chiristian Feast.
In July 1948, Apoyevmati Newspaper announced that because of the Profiti Ilias Fair, the country musichall near the church will be ready to serve visitors fresh fish, mussel, cold beer, cold and hot appetizers. It is believed that at that time visitors’ crowd streched from hill to the town center. After 51 years, in 1999, at the Profiti Ilias Chiristian Feast there were 50-60 people and at the same country musichall there were 5-6 table for customers.

      Tevfikiye Mosque

The mosque, that is on the Arnavutköy-Bebek road and has a view of Akıntıburnu, was built in 1832 by Sultan Mahmut with the barracks (police station now) near it. This small mosque has a rectangle plan and single minaret. It is interesting that this mosque was built while very few Muslims were living here. It is likely that, during the 1821 Mora Rebellion, because of the Arnavutköy’s connection with Russia, Eflak and Boğdan Sultan has built a mosque.

       The Bath

This bath that is between the Boyalı Köşk Street and Abdülhak Molla Street was ruined in 1930. At present, there is only a remnant of the bath. Behind the bath, there was Grand İzzet Mehmet Pasha’s villa and in front of the bath there was poet Faruk Nafız Çamlıbel’s house.

       Fountains 

The oldest one in Arnavutköy is the İzzet Mehmet Pasha fountain that was built 1791 and is on the street behind the Mosque. Beyhan Sultan built the second one that was on the Akıntıburnu in 1804. This marble fountain has 3 troughs.

FIRES IN ARNAVUTKÖY

As Özden Danışman, who is one of the people we have interviewed, says; “In Arnavutköy, because of the component of houses, a quick interference is a must otherwise a house will be burned in 5 minutes.” This situation caused several great fires in Arnavutköy throughout the history.
      In his book “Istanbul Firemen”, Reşad Ekrem Koçu mentions two great fires in Arnavutköy in last 200 years. The first one occurred in 1798 and all waterside residences burned. The second one burned 109 buildings in 1908. In his book named “Istoria Tu Megalu Revmatos-Arnavutköy”, Iliopolis Metropoliti Yennadios writes that a greater fire occurred in 1887 April 11th. In a newspaper named “Oriental Adviser - Moniteur Oriental”. Event was described like this:   
Great fire in Arnavutköy. In Arnavutköy, on past Saturday night at ten o’clock, the fire started and spreaded immediately because of wind. The fire started because of the fact that a gas lamb fell over in house of a man called Yako. After the fire, that continued burning for 5-6 hours, all Arnavutköy ruined with 450 houses and 250 shops. Despite the greatness of the fire, only a man got hurt.”
      In the same newspaper next day, these were added:
It is learned that the majority of the burned houses’ owners are Greeks and 800 family lost their houses. Approximately 40 houses that belong to Jews were burned too. By the order of the Sultan, 500 tents 3000 okes of food were sent to Arnavutköy.”

FISHERMEN IN ARNAVUTKÖY

Once upon a time, Arnavutköy was famous with its mackerel, large bluefish and large Bonito. Akıntıburnu was full of fishermen, but we polluted the sea and make it offended by us. At present, there is not much fish and any professional fisherman on the shore, but there are only some fishing-lines. Especially fishermen from the Black sea are guilty, because they hunted untimely and used trawl.

THE HISTORY OF ARNAVUTKÖY

Greeks who had come from Megara and Argos to settle the place in the eras that Arnavutköy was called Estia or Mihailion constituted the first folk of the village. After Istanbul’s Conquest by Turks, city’s population decreased so families who were brought from Albania were made to settle in Arnavutköy. These Albanians have become Christians and Greeks in time.
In the middle of the Seventeenth century, Evliya Çelebi described Arnavutköy in this way: “There are houses with vineyards and orchards, these all belong to Greeks and Jews. There are no mosques, small mosques or “imaret”s. Muslim congregation is quite small”.
In Eighteenth century İnciciyan wrote down that all the population in Arnavutköy was Greek.
After eighteenth century, a small Armenian community have lived there more than 200 years. In the middle of 1930’s the small Armenian primary school of Arnavutköy was closed because of the insufficiency of students. In Arnavutköy, before World War I, 342 Armenians were living with 5973 Greeks.
Not as crowded as other quarters of Istanbul but Jews have always lived in Arnavutköy. There are some written records that belong to seventeenth century, about the settlement of Jews in Arnavutköy. According to the records, Jews were existent since 1654. However, after 1887 fire a large number of Jewish families immigrated to other counties. Before World War I, there were 32 Jews living in Arnavutköy.
Before the Mora Uprising, Greeks were worried because of the works and secret meetings in opposition of Ottoman Empire then they moved from Arnavutköy.
According to nineteenth century records all waterside residences belonged to Greeks bar one or two exception. After the Mora Uprising in 1821, these waterside residences were confiscated and sold to Jews. In the late 1800’s Muslims started to settle down the places that were emptied before because of the fires in the village.
In World War I years, Greek population of Arnavutköy exceeded 6000. After the war, this number started to decrease and finally went down to half because of migration and the changes of people’s dwelling.
Greeks have emigrated to Greek as a result of Sixth and Seventh September Events, 1964 Decree and 1974 Events. Only about 50 or 60 people who are generally old stayed in.

 THE NIGHT OF   6-7 SEPTEMBER OF 1955

After 1940’s, although from time to time there were problems, which stem from the cultural differences between the families who emigrated from Black Sea Region and whose origin is rural and the families who are settled Greeks and Christians, until 1955 no serious events happened. 6-7 September events, which were the most serious disasters that Greeks have ever faced with, have also affected Arnavutköy people deeply, too. In these days in Arnavutköy where 600 Greek families were living, looters damaged the neighbourhood badly; they devastated shopping centre, houses, automobiles and churches. From time to time Greeks resisted thus events became more violent.
A 77-year-old bedridden woman was wounded by an iron, which had hit her head. After two days, she died in the hospital, where she had been taken for treatment.
Arnavutköy Greek Community’s 72-year-old religious leader, who had lived in Arnavutköy since 1920’s, was exposed to insult and he was pushed down from the stairs of his home. After these events he would not recover, after about 6 months he died.
A 400-year-old valuable icon, which was in Taksiarhis Church that was completely destroyed, had been broken and then was thrown out.
Asadur Zovikoğlu and Uncle Tahsin are the eyewitnesses of the grievous events. As an eyewitness Uncle Asadur’s recollections areas follows:
I lived Sixth and Seventh September Events. I was in my shop until 4am. Only front shop window of my shop was broken. I never forget I had bought lots of material because schools would be opened. I thought ‘if these are destroyed, where can I find the capital again.’ A member of army which has just retired came and said ‘don’t come closer’ at that night at the time which looters came to break my shop, then he fired two shots, they went. I thanked him very much. I’ve never forgotten him.”
As another eyewitness of the events Uncle Tahsin said:
Sixth and Seventh September events occurred. I looked out and saw there was no shopping centre, no tradesman. Looters, dishonourable people destroyed, broke all things. Government paid all the cost. We protected Greeks but we couldn’t hold their own. A crowd came, they were holding clubs in their hands, broke whatever they came across. They destroyed all shops because there were many Greek tradesmen in Arnavutköy. We saved one or two shops with difficulty.
This was a scheme of the Government. The government created a disagreement because it was to their interest. We mustn’t let these done, that crowd mustn’t be increased. People started to immigrate. Self-seekers designed the events, planned everything. After the events they sold all houses.
There are residents who immigrated after the events. Immigrants died because of pain. They are treated badly; they are looked down on the place they went. However I don’t expect them to come back.”
After the tragic events, Arnavutköy Greek Community told that some Turks had tried to protect them but some had showed their homes and shops and helped to the raiders by this way, with grief.
At the end of these events Greek population have lessened continuously in Arnavutköy.

ASADUR ZOVIKOGLU

If there is a special quality of mine, it is the fact that I have been here, in Arnavutköy, since 1924, I worked in my coffee shop from 1959 to 1998 so because of these things everybody knows me. I am called ‘the walking history of Arnavutköy’.
Everybody used to shop at in my store. The merchandise of my shop was various.  School materials, fuel, drinks, cigarette, newspapers were sold.”

These words belong to Asadur Zovikoğlu, who is an old resident  of Arnavutköy.
According to an interview that was made in 1998 the life history of Asadur Zovikoğlu is like that:
Since 1924 that was his birth year, Asadur Zovikoğlu hadn’t left Arnavutköy that he characterizes as ‘our village’. Erzincan Kemah is his family’s place of origin. At the beginning of the Nineteenth century his father Apraham and grandfather Asadur emigrated from Pekeriçi village of Kemah to Istanbul. They rented a shop and started keeping a coffee house.
In the shop, which was near to the Greek school, notebooks, pens, pencils, marbles, caramels, chewing gums were sold in addition to coffee. Water and coal were also sold in the shop. In the quarter that had a small population, a few shop used to meet all needs.
Asadur grew in a wooden house that was near the coffee shop. Starting nursery school that was called Mangabardes, firstly he was educated in Arnavutköy, then Ortaköy and Beşiktaş. In 1946, at the end of war years, he graduated from a high school in Karaköy. He did his military service as a reserve officer in Erzurum. When he turned back he continued to serve with his father in coffee shop. Actually Asadur wanted to deal with machinery work, for a time he worked in a turner. He was curious about machinery but when his father got old he took over the shop compulsorily.
Between 1959 and 1998, Asadur Zovikoğlu operated the coffee house that was opened in 1920’s.   
Asadur Zovikoğlu has said in an interview that he gave before: “In the past there were not as many people as there are now in Arnavutköy. There were few tradesmen. Arnavutköy was cosmopolitan. There were Greeks, Armenians, and Turks. Sometimes the French and the English have lived here. All of them were like siblings. Candy Bairam came, my father used to took candy to sub-district manager. When Muslim Festival of Sacrifices came a lot of meat was sent to us, we used to give some part of them to needy people that the people who had brought meat to us didn’t know about”. *
Uncle Asadur said that people who were from various nations used to live together without any problem. They were living like brothers and sisters. Everyone used to visit each other, congratulate their bairam. There were Greeks, Armenians, and Turks in Arnavutköy. This situation was replaced by others in time, different people came from different areas. 50-60 % of people have immigrated because of many various reasons. 20 class soldiers, Property Tax, Sixth and Seventh September Events made people disappear. In fact all dwellers were likebrothers. Many people who went to Greece and settled there suffered for leaving Arnavutköy and when they came to Arnavutköy, they looked for Arnavutköy people they brought presents for everybody.
Village changes in time: “Greeks went slowly, migrations started. Furthermore, Sixth and Seventh September events occurred, their shops were destroyed. They didn’t have the opportunity to open a shop again so they started to migrate; they sold their houses for low prices. Newcomers want to apply their own training here but we cannot adjust the situation.” *
The clearest thing is Uncle Asadur’ s deep missing of Arnavutköy’s old people. He doesn’t miss old life as much as old people because he hasn’t forgotten the poverty and difficulties of daily life. But he hasn’t forgotten Arnavutköy people that he describes as a ‘family’. “There were Greeks in Arnavutköy, there were less people, a village atmosphere was existent. People used to come their summer resort. Sea was spotlessly clean and shining, fish could be seen. These people are absent now, man sorrows when he remembers.” *
With the deep grief which non-existence of the old village and the people causes, Uncle Asadur misses past very much because of the fact that the better has not been done.
* İstanbul’da Hatırlamak ve Unutmak, Birey, Bellek ve Aidiyet , Leyla Neyzi, Türkiye Ekonomi ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı, Numune Matbaacılık, Beşiktaş/ İstanbul 1999 November

UNCLE TAHSİN

Uncle Tahsin is one of the old residents of Arnavutköy. He came from Maçka, which is a province of Trabzon. People who migrated from Trabzon used to be coppersmiths, tinsmiths, or yorgancı. Actually Greeks leave these trades to Turks.
When we asked what he missed from the old days, he answered in the following way:
Memories, my life in the past are always in my mind. I was a child but I found pleasure in entertainments.
If only old tradesmen would be here, it would  be better. We were like siblings.
There is no peer of   Arnavutköy. It is unique. It is the place which has changed less because there is not any new construction, it is forbidden. Arnavutköy is different!
As it can be perceived Uncle Tahsin also misses old Arnavutköy people, old life, old days very much.

 FROM THE THIRD BRIDGE TO TUNNEL

One of the most distinctive characteristics of Arnavutköy is its architectural structure and historical heritage that have been being threatened by the third Bosphorus Bridge planned to be built between Arnavutköy and Kandilli.
Ministry of Public Transportation claimed that a third Bosphorus bridge will be an effective solution for the transportation problems in Istanbul such as congestion in the roads ending of the both sides of the Bosphorus Bridges and in 1998, the Highways Department of the Central Government announced its plan to construct a third bridge across the waterway. However, the construction of a third bridge is far from being a solution yet a great source for possible future problems.
Inhabitants of Arnavutköy are strongly against coming bridges not only in Arnavutköy but also in any place in Bosphorus because they are aware of the dangerous facts, which they will have to face when a bridge is built.
First of all, a new bridge between Arnavutköy and Kandilli puts Arnavutköy’s cultural and natural heritage in danger and also Kandilli’s beautiful scenic areas will be in danger too. There is huge area needed to make the construction of a bridge possible and this means that, if a third bridge is built in Arnavutköy, most of the houses which are known as civil architecture, monumental constructions, green areas and famous “yalı”s will be destroyed for the bridge’s construction. The rest will be in danger too because new viaducts, roads, little bridges linking to the big one will be needed in time after the bridge is built. There will be a great noise and air pollution over the Arnavutköy and even the waters of Arnavutköy will be negatively affected from the pollution carried by the bridge. It will be extremely harmful not only for Arnavutköy and Kandilli but also for near residential areas such as Ulus, Etiler and Levent.

Arnavutköy Local Initiative Group

Inhabitants of Arnavutköy raised their voice for the first time before six years ago and they established a local initiative group. The members are predominantly the dwellers of Arnavutköy. Özden Danışman said that they, the dwellers of Arnavutköy, decided to do something about the coming disaster and became a group in one night. For instance, the tailor, the fruit saler, vegetable man, butcher, coffee saler, baker, pharmacist, shoe maker of Arnavutköy and even the old people are in this initiative group, just to save their neighborhood. They are trying to do anything they can; they contribute to the group facilities as well as they can. Özden Danışman, İsmail Üstun and Nejla Osseiran said, “This is a work willing”. People of Arnavutköy are meeting on every Sunday in Arnavutköy’s traditional coffee houses and they are organizing fairs on the Arnavutköy waterfront. They are inviting famous singers, writers, showmen and journalists to contribute to Arnavutköy’s facilities. They are making research on history of Arnavutköy, the possible damage that will happen to Arnavutköy when a bridge is built and laws that do not allow bridges to be built in Bosphorus, they are sending these research projects’ results to the newspapers, magazines, television channels and other publication organs.
Arnavutköy Local Initiative Group’s aim is to make people of Istanbul aware of that our cultural and natural heritages are at risk and if we don’t do anything to prevent, sooner or later, they will be destroyed. Another aim of Initiative Group is to make government and other linking ministries aware of that Arnavutköy is not ownerless and people of Arnavutköy and Istanbul will not let anything such as a bridge to harm their neighborhood and Istanbul.
This kind of a local organization is brand new for Turkey because before Arnavutköy Local Initiative Group exists, there were no organizations like this.
Arnavutköy’s initiative is the first movement, which is local and very effective to voice themselves to the other people of Istanbul and to express their thoughts and concerns about a specific subject.   

Third Bridge Is Not a Solution

There have been many people who refused the third bridge by emphasizing some facts about the two bridges over the Bosphorus. Generally, these facts were representing that the third bridge would not be a solution to the traffic problem in Istanbul.
Mete Örer (Transport Expert and a former Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transportation, 2003) told that while the city roads on either end of the bridges were as congested as they were, a third, a fourth, even a fifth bridge would do no good. This meant more bridges and highway transition would bring more cars into the city and more cars would necessitate more bridges.
According to data collected by Prof. Dr. Güngör Evren, since the inauguration of the Bosphorus Bridge in 1973, the number of vehicles crossed the bridge increased 14 times when the number of the commuters increased 2.5 times. This was the indication of the fact that these bridges served the cars instead of people. However, the aim is to ease the transition of commuters instead of transition of vehicles.
Besides those that Mete Örer and Prof. Dr. Güngör Evren fixed, traffic accidents on bridges also indicate the weak aspect of bridges, obviously. That is, although it is thought that bridges are necessary to ease traffic congestion, accidents on bridges reverse this thought because they cause more congestion. For example, a few weeks ago o lorry crashed the Bosphorus Bridge, both there was congestion and the bridge was damaged. 

 Tube Pass

As a way of preventing the third bridge, a new project was proposed: The only long term solution to Istanbul’s traffic problem is an underwater tube crossing between Sirkeci and Harem, moving more people not more cars. Many millions of dollars had been spent on preparing this project, which was not only feasible but could carry twelve times more people than a bridge.
What are the properties of the proposed underwater tube pass? The tunnel, which will provide a fast crossing between the two sides of Istanbul, will be 1.80 km long and maximum speed of trains will be 100 km/hour. It will be built between Üsküdar and Sirkeci. In addition to this, the suburban railway lines between Sirkeci and Halkalı and between Gebze and Haydarpaşa will be improved. Thus, the number of commuters will increase from 10.000 to 75.000 due to the fast and safe transportation. In this way, the underwater tube pass project is the necessary solution so as to provide the mass transportation and crossing the Bosphorus as they give close attention to protect the historical and natural beauty of İstanbul.   
However, there have been some concerns about whether the proposed tunnel is safe during the possible earthquake in Istanbul. Although the authorized people in the Ministry of Public Transportation responded to the concerns as they expressed that it could resist an earthquake of 9.3 on the Richter scale, there are still anxious people planning not to pass the tunnel. Nevertheless, the example of this tunnel, which is under the English Channel as a connecting railway between France and England, seems to be convincing the opponents. So, if this tunnel can be resistant under these circumstances and at this distance, the proposed tunnel will also be under the Bosphorus.       
Besides the tube tunnel, there have been also different alternatives providing decrease in the traffic problem and prevention of the third bridge. For example, some say that if there is congestion on the highways, they should increase the number of ships carrying passengers and vehicles. In another suggestion, some people propose that there should be a special line for buses on the bridges in order to provide carrying more people. For instance, İsmail Hakkı Acar (Professor in M.S.U.) emphasized this suggestion when he showed the roads reserved for both buses and the cars carrying at least three passengers on the highway going through the Bridge of Oakland Gulf in San Francisco. There is the same system on the highway going through the Bridge of Golden Gate in San Francisco, too.    
According to the explanation of Enis Öksüz, The Minister of Public Transportation in 2000, this project would cost 1.6-1.7 billion dollars including the expenses for periphery arrangements. In addition, 860 million dollars of it would be spent for the tube tunnel, which would be built at the depth of 58 meters under the sea, and the rest of it would be reserved for the tunnel railways 13 kilometers long. Finally, the construction would be completed after four years. Furthermore, to provide the necessary financial resource, they had been communicating with OECF, which was a state institution in Japan.
Although this project is of significance to the future of Istanbul, many people do not know the characteristics of it and do not realize its importance. Thus, they speak according to their estimates or hearsays. For instance, some of the people claim that cars will be able to use this tunnel. Or, thinking of adventures films, others assume that the tunnel will be made of glass. These instances are indicating the ignorance of many citizens about this project. However, nowadays the Minister of Public Transportation has been having an effort so as to render people conscious.

 Echoes in Media

Some of the artists as well as some supporting statesmen protested this proposal by using posters and banners with the intention of voicing their rights and reactions against the third bridge, obviously. Film stars Müjde Ar, Hülya Koçyiğit, Rutkay Assize, Beyazıt Öztürk, writers Orhan Pamuk, Latife Tekin, journalist Zeynep Göğüs were stating their solidarity with the Arnavutköy residents.
Thus the protest marked the first time in modern Istanbul history that residents rose up publicly against the government. Moreover, people assisted the residents in Arnavutköy and in Istanbul instead of the state as soon as they learnt more information about the consequences of proposed bridge. So, mass media was more interested in local problems.    
As to what the mass media both in Turkey and in foreign countries did about this protest, The Washington Post (2001) and The New York Times (1999) expressed the importance of the local initiative group with an article. Similarly, ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites, 2002) published a report explaining the threat. In addition to them, Turkish media contributed to this protest with supporting news. At a different level, Robert College Alumni Association (2000) deemed worthy Arnavutköy Local Initiative Group for the Kriton Curi Environment Rewards.

 RESULTS

The oral history research of Arnavutköy has suggested that the social transformation that has been affected through years with number of stages migrations and emigrations in Arnavutköy has influenced all social lives and relationships in the district. According to a census conducted by the Ferry-boat Company (Şirket-i Hayriye) at the beginning of the 20th Century, it indicates a dramatic change of ratios between Christian and Muslim populations. At the beginning of the 20th Century whereas there were 9 Christians to 1 Muslim, at the end of the century it became 19 Muslims to 1 Christian. The significant movements of people in the 20th century were realized through mutual agreement of two governments in July 1923.
According to the interview conducted with individual interviewees in the presence of the research group, it points out that first dwellers of Arnavutköy yearn for their past time, habits and relationships with people in Arnavutköy with no ethnic, religious or ideological problems.
Another point that this research project demonstrates is that Arnavutköy is still a unique district that can easily be united on a subject to protect their village against the treat of constructing a third bridge across the waterway. While the District Initiative of Arnavutköy was composing, the citizens of Arnavutköy became aware of that their most important inheritance in their lives was the history of their old neighbourhood.

DISCUSSION

Although Arnavutköy has been a historic and multi-ethnic suburban neighbourhood for many years, in the past Arnavutköy’ s dwellers has succeeded in living together in the same area several years with any ethnic or religious controversies. Therefore, it seems that it is not only a dream that people can live in peace. Arnavutköy is a visionary example for the global world.
Recently conducted to protect Arnavutköy, the District Initiative of Arnavutköy has improved the relationships of inhabitants. In addition, they have just achieved in their major goal to some extent with the underwater tube pass. However, this does not mean that their fight opposing the third bridge project of the government has finished.   
Nonetheless, the government should take required measures to protect the natural form of the architectural construction of Arnavutköy as its cultural richness, and everybody should pay more attention to the importance of cultural and architectural fabric of historical places such as Arnavutköy so as to retain its natural form for the future and next generations.

2003 – 2004   TERM PROJECT

 INSTRUCTOR: ZELİHA GÜLÇAT

 CONTRIBUTORS:

TUĞBA ATMACA
AYŞEGÜL DOĞAN
ZAFER DOĞAN
SEDA GEZGİN
EMRE İLHAN

 BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alemdar, Nigar. “Facts”. 21.01.2003. 2/4. On-line. Internet.
Ekinci, Oktay. “Koprulere Otobus Yolu Onerisi”. Cumhuriyet. 15.09.1997.
Gumus, Korhan. ”Kentsel Muhalefet.” Radikal. 14.03.1999.
Guvemli, Ozlem. “Arnavutköy Icın Kabus.” Cumhuriyet. 31.05.2002.
Kınzer, Stephen. “A New Bridge? Not in My Backyard!” The New York Times.    06.02.1999.
Moore, Molly. “Historic Homes Torn by Times in Istanbul.” Washington Post.     27.08.2001.
Turkey. The Minister of Public Transportation. The Marmaray Project. 1999.

 

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Last modified: JULY 26,  2017