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Beyoglu’s Glorious and Complex Urban Passages: Do they Explain the Transforming City?

Wed, Jun 8, 2016    6:30pm
The international, and now globalized culture that exists in Istanbul is extremely visible and palpable inside the modern district of Beyoğlu as people are welcomed from everywhere, and have been for centuries. In this part of the Istanbul, the inseparable combination of local and global customs and actions, religious and secular beliefs are impacted by Eastern and Western influences that, in return, also exhibit use and design tactics that produce alternative urban architectural and interior spaces, that have grown to become “entirely Turkish.” It can be argued that the many passages (pasajlar and geçitler) located in Beyoğlu largely along or near Istiklal Caddesi are key indicators of cultural shifts, They provide unusual mixed-use volumes that also act as poetic and symbolic thresholds and literal refuges in the continuously transforming, influential district. Some of these large spaces seem to sit as relics to other eras while they juxtapose and illustrate the most current dilemmas related to economics, real estate changeovers and private, individual endeavors. As ingenious constructed links that have been set between avenue and side street in many configurations and scales, they provide nascent possibilities for understanding and new participation in the local past and now redefinition. This study begun in 2006, and continued intermittently over the decade, has produced a morphological documentation of the changing spaces, set amongst social and spatial theories to provide many ways to comprehend the once imported urban interior typology.