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14 November 2014  |  0 comment  |  Ufuk Kaan Altın

As Karaköy Changes…

The hidden paradise across the Historical Peninsula opened its doors to everyone.

As Karaköy Changes…

As recently as 8 to 10 years ago, Karaköy was a notorious district that became eerie in the off hours, but we’ve been watching it change and transform for some time. 

I don’t intend to write a boring article about the process that with the region being declared a touristic area, the subsequent Galataport tender, cancellation of the tender and initiation of a new tender. We’re all witnesses to beloved Istanbul’s being plundered for the sake of profit. I’d like to hope that things will proceed more honestly this time.

And I also think acknowledging positive developments will be correct.

An intellectual wind blows in the dirty alleys of the Karaköy-Tophane region that had remained idle for a long time. This was the starting point of the hustle and bustle in the vicinity. Everything had began with the art circles’ taking an interest in this region. Speaking of art, I should also mention Mimar Sinan University Fine Arts Faculty and Istanbul Modern, as well as dozens of galleries and performance areas both large and small, most of which have opened recently.

Karaköy was the next discovery of artists and art lovers after Şişhane-Galata region. As a result of this, buildings started to undergo restoration and change hands for large sums of money. Modern cafes and chic restaurants opened and still open. This accelerated interaction. Places where gallery visitors can take a breath, have conversation, eat good food and socialize were partly born of this need.

The fact that Karaköy is very close to Beyoğlu, which has largely been sated with entertainment and socialization in my humble opinion, played an important role in its transformation in recent years. Naturally, its being across the Historical Peninsula is also one of the leading factors accelerating this process. Tourists also take interest in this region now, which triggered hotel investments. As there aren’t very wide spaces, boutique hotels are predominant, and I think this is the way that suits Karaköy.

This old region of the city always had potential. We’ve seen good things in the recent period. I hope it goes on this way, and investments don’t spoil texture of Karaköy and attract profiteers. We’ll be following closely.

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