Every working day I go to Eminönü, where TOG’s main office is. Eminönü, on the European side, is a neighbourhood of shopkeepers: bureaus de change, chemists, photo boutiques, haberdashers, specialist outlets and pretty average diners. It’s not unpleasant, it’s actually a charming old place, but it’s routine.
Every working day that is, except on Thursday. Once a week I go to Kavacık, to spend time with the youth and give a French course at TOG’s Pembe Ev (Pink House) youth centre. Kavacık, on the Asian side, is a town on the top of a hill. It’s remote, residential, poorer and slow paced. A welcome break. On my way from the bus stop to Pembe Ev I like to wander.
N°45 caught my attention standing up, just about, between two small apartment blocks. I crept stealthily, containing my excitement that this was probably trespassing and would be seen by locals as bizarre or disrespectful – if seen. The photos pay tribute to a place left behind and attempt to raise a few questions. What happened? Who lived here? What’s to become of the house? Of Kavacık?
N°30 is just up my street in Üsküdar. I discovered it recently on a weekend walk, uphill, through a neighbourhood where shacks, wood fires and washing lines border condominiums and brand new sedans. Again I was drawn in, wondering what signs of human activity I would find, what they would tell me about who lived here and what the hell turned the place upside down.