Langa and Yedikule bostans according to the 1966 aerial photographs

 

Istanbul’s bostans, with their rows of crops in small plots, are easily recognizable in aerial photographs from 1966. In 2014 I was asked to help the City and Agriculture project map some of the gardens. Using GIS, I gave these photographs geographic coordinates and compared them to modern satellite imagery. The results are stark. The Langa gardens have completely disappeared. In Yedikule, the once sprawling fields have been reduced to isolated patches of cultivation. I also traced the outlines of current gardens in Google Earth and overlaid the results on the old aerial photographs. Of all the bostans that existed in the 60’s, only those in red survive today.

Eli Weaverdyck, University of California, Berkeley.

 

Yedikule bostans in 1966 (only those in red survive today)

Yedikule1966CurrentGardensRed

 

Yedikule bostans in 1966

Yedikule 1966

 

 

Yedikule bostans in 2012

Yedikule Current

 

Map of Istanbul with the location of Yedikule

Yedikule Extent

 

 

LANGA BOSTANS

Langa Extent

 

Langa bostans in 1966

Langa1966

 

 

The area of Langa in 2014

LangaCurrent

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Neoliberal Green Space: Turkey’s Working-class Gardens are Under Attack from Elite Developers

“Istanbul’s bostans preserve an alternative model for urban gardening: one that provides a living for professional small farmers, who supply their communities with produce and have relative autonomy over the spaces they cultivate. That this livelihood is being destroyed right as gardens are becoming fetish objects in the urban imagination might seem ironic — but it is perfectly compatible with the rise of the neoliberal green space.”

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/07/istanbul-bostans-urban-gardening-erdogan-gezi/

Turkish translation:

http://mustereklerimiz.org/neoliberal-yesil-alanlar/

Students talk with one of the Albanian gardeners from Yedikule

Students talk with Riza Bey about his garden near the Yedikule walls. He also shared some wonderful personal photos with us.

Yedikule conversation

Yedikule conversation

 

10550898_10102451652755030_3600410041588268881_n

Riza Bey and other Yedikule gardeners and residents at “Crazy Toma’s” lettuce garden, 1963. Man at middle-right is holding a lettuce leaf.

 

A bittersweet return to "Crazy Toma's" lettuce garden, now a mosque.

A bittersweet return to “Crazy Toma’s” lettuce garden, now a mosque.

 

10409399_10102451657231060_7822646239513048379_n

Riza Bey prepares to take fresh produce from the gardens to market, early 1960s