It is becoming hard to find a corner without any piece of street art in the central district of Beyoğlu. Some walls are covered from top to bottom by graffiti, drawings, posters or even pixel mosaics designed by Invader. Here and there, you see attempts to copy Banksy. And, after a spray assault in 2009, the whole area is now full of the German artist Kripoe’s yellow fists.
Street art is still not well spread in Turkey, but it’s growing fast in areas undergoing a gentrification process, such as Beyoğlu or Kadıköy. Among all techniques, stencil has become very popular. Many of the city’s stencil works have a highly political content and convey a kind of Dada derision. Another irony is that a small street close to Galatasaray high school, where the Urban Café is located, became an open air street art “gallery” with pieces from many prominent names in the field. But, the café painted their walls all over again in April 2008 – just to get new graffitis! Half of the stencils selected by Mashallah are from this street.