An illustrated image of how the neighbourhood is changing
  • non-fiction
  • urbanwalks
  • illustration
  • BILGI Workshop

Izmir, Turkey

My Hood at the Table in Adatepe and Laleli Streets

by Cerensu Bartu

My Hood at the Table is a project created by Cerensu Bartu as an open discussion platform to be able to voice the various perspectives about your neighbourhood.

Ozan is 27 years old. Even though he currently lives in Adatepe street, he actually grew up in Laleli street. Before Laleli, we start talking about Adatepe.

Ozan
Ozan

The first thing he said was that the roads of the neighborhood are slope. I immediately ask about the difficulties in winter, but he says that he has not had a problem at least until now, since the winters in İzmir are not very cold. But he adds that the road is not asphalt but interlocking paving stone and he has had a really rough time in the rain. When I ask why asphalt is not poured, he says that the locals do not allow it. In addition, there were no stairs on such a steep slope. He goes to the markets on the main street for his needs, but after a tiring day, it was very difficult to climb this hill. On the other hand, he says that less traffic makes his life easier. When I ask about the relationship of the neighborhood with each other, he says that unlike most of the other interviews I have made, there is still a neighborhood in the neighborhood. In fact, the sit-in in front of the doors still continues on summer days, which is a myth for all of us. Except for a few two-story apartments in the neighborhood, most apartments are three floors and above. Despite this, most residents of the neighborhood know each other and are in constant communication.

An illustrated image of the neighbourhood
An illustrated image of the neighbourhood

From here, the subject comes to the old neighborhood of Laleli. Ozan lived in an old Greek house in Laleli. This house was given to him as a gift because Ozan's grandfather saved the people inside the house during a fire. This Greek house is a duplex house with many outbuildings in its garden. The toilet and kitchen are located outside the main building of the house, inside the huge garden. Neighborhood relations at that time were the same as here, but tighter. They left the house because there was a possibility of collapse. Later on, it was agreed with the contractor jointly with the house and the three houses around it. An apartment with 24 flats was built in its place. When I first heard about this, I was really upset. Although I have not seen the old Greek house, I know that a 24-story concrete pile will never replace it. Ozan also talked about a few memories in the Laleli neighborhood. The first one is to gather in the neighborhood where many people do it and go to the seaside. The other was the first example I've ever heard. Gathering with friends in the neighborhood and preparing dance and theater performances to show the neighborhood. We talked a little bit about these shows and ended our conversation.

An illustrated image referring to the changes in neighbourhood
An illustrated image referring to the changes in neighbourhood