An alternative Cityguiding through Istanbul

The map of Istanbul for tourists, which includes the Sultanahmed-Region and Beyoğlu, covers only about one or two percent of the real Istanbul map. In order to go beyond these two percent you can join an „alternative citiyguiding“ (or an architectural field trip as Orhan Esen calls it).

Orhan Esen is active as a researcher, writer and publisher. He is mainly focused on the rapid changes of the built environment, and its architectural, social, political and ecological outcomes. As a freelancer he has been collaborating with academic, civic, media and corporate bodies.

Istanbul and the Mahalle-System in the 19th Century

In a Mahalle (typical neighbourhood from the 16th or 17th century) the streets don’t have any geometry, they look like a labyrinth. In the absence of capitalism there is no private property, the state gives land to mosque foundations and from them people can get their plots or rather the using rights. This land is no private property, so nobody would sell, rent or speculate with land. In contrast to todays’ system there is a collective responsability.

 

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