Bostancı seaside

Life along the water in Istanbul

Sedef Özge

On the Anatolian side of Istanbul, between Caddebostan and the Bostancı pier, a lively park stretches its well-tended lawns, small beaches, bike lanes and playgrounds. While the residential parts of the area are quite upscale, the park is not; during summer, it is frequented by both locals and people from other neighborhoods who relax, swim and do sports.

The sea here is highly polluted due to uncontrolled sewage disposal through the river Kurbağalıdere, which flows into the sea just at the west end of Bostancı seaside. Nevertheless, many people swim. The residential area is going through rapid reconstruction as part of the urban renovation boom in Istanbul, hence the rents and real estate prices keep skyrocketing.

There have been attempts in the past few years to limit visitors from lower middle class neighborhoods of Istanbul, including one by the local municipality to forbid swimming in underwear, and another by the Metropolitan municipality, who installed turnstiles and collected entry fees at one of the Caddebostan beaches on the grounds that this would discourage less advantaged visitors coming to the area.

Sedef Özge, a photographer in Istanbul with a background in sociology, has photographed everyday life along the urban coastline in Caddebostan and Bostancı. Her images reveal a place where time seems to travel with a slower pace, belonging to the city yet separated from its rhythm.

 

Sedef Özge

A girl on the beach, trying to make her dog jump.

 

Sedef Özge

A boy belly-flopping into the sea.

Sedef Özge

Ms. Durdu learned to swim in Bostancı a couple of years ago. She has since won a local championship and gives swimming lessons to children.

Sedef Özge

Children from the Roma community play in the sea. Their darbuka is left in the sand.

Sedef Özge

A boy on the cement sidewalk.

Sedef Özge

One of the Caddebostan beaches with the park and residential area in the background.

Sedef Özge

Three friends posing for a picture.

Sedef Özge

A professional basketball player performs at an event with competitions, shows and music.

Sedef Özge

A girl riding a manually operated merry-go-round at a playground nearby the sea.

 

Sedef Özge

A local musician plays his guitar for money from passersby; a man rides by on his chopper.

 

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