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Sulukule and the old city walls

Sulukule (Turkish: Sulukule, "the Water Tower") is an old settlement in Istanbul, Turkey. It is within the area of Istanbul’s historic peninsula, in Fatih municipality - adjacent to the western part of the Theodosian Wall, which has historically been occupied by Romani communities. Roma presence in this part of Istanbul dates back to Byzantine times, while it is in the 15th century, upon Ottoman conquest, that the quarter became (reportedly) the first district in the world permanently settled by sedentary Roma.

Sulukule was famous for its entertainment houses, where the Romani performed music and dance to the visitors from in and outside Istanbul. The closure of these entertainment houses, in 1992, precipitated serious socio-economic decline in the area.

Today the neighborhood of Sulukule is under threat of demolitions due to the ‘urgent’ urban transformation proposals developed by the Fatih and Greater Istanbul municipalities. The proposals go beyond the specific area of Sulukule affecting the whole historic peninsula of Istanbul due to processes of urban transformation and gentrification driven by private sector and governmental agencies, which is currently threatening Sulukule's centuries-old cultural heritage. This redevelopment is to take place in what is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The problematic project is harshly criticized by Civil Society institutions.

For further information about Sulukule's current situation please visit this site: http://www.alternatifsulukule.org

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External links

Coordinates: 41°01′35″N 28°56′02″E / 41.02639°N 28.93389°E / 41.02639; 28.93389

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