In Istanbul, a very aggressive urban regeneration process began with a new law (5366) passed in July 2005. Under this law, municipalities and TOKI (The Mass Housing Administration of Turkey) are authorized to carry out urban renewal projects in historic areas. Sulukule, a neighbourhood inhabited by the Romani people for centuries, was chosen as the first renewal site in Istanbul. The project is being implemented under the protocol of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the District (Fatih) Municipality and TOKI. Step by step, the Romani people living there have been forcefully evicted or manipulated to leave their livelihoods, and their departure is followed by ruthless demolitions throughout the area. My project is a critique on this movement towards Urban purification and Westernization of Istanbul, regenerating the culture of the Neglect, most prominently the Romani Gypsies, whom the Prime Minister Erdogan referred as ucube (monster) and venerating these outsiders of Society. This project explores the concept of extremity of public and private spaces: the Romanis who regard highly of ethnic segregation and the general attitude of some local Turkish and the government who wants to enforce such social segregation due to prejudice. Despite such inclination, both groups depend on each other economically as well as culturally. As the Romanis are forcefully evicted, this event of accumulation and purification is the instigation of Public into their Private domain and social injection for interaction.

Interior View of the Romani Living Quarter

Inside the Accumulated Wall of Roses

Hidirellez Festival: Interaction of Romani and Gadje

Fire Purification: Hidirellez Celebration


Seasonal Score Illustrating the Islamic Prayers and Rituals Along with the Life span and Regeneration of the Eclectic Cultural Hoard of the Romanis


As the Structure becomes increasingly well known, it will be saturated with such large number of tourists and outsiders that the cluster becomes synonymous with the public. This will be the stage when tthe cluster ceases to continue as privacy of the Romani community is greatly compromised and the long-preserved tradition is tainted. This leads to the climatic stage of purification; through Fire and Water.

Romani Court: Flaunting Wealth and Power

The status of the Romani Court is slowly declining due to Influence of Outsiders and New generations whom do not fully embrace its strict tradition. The new prospect of the Romani Community also veer towards integration between both societies, mainly for income and survival and the Gadje Barrier becomes more relaxed and penetrable. The Romani Court is now performed mostly for entertainment purposes and also to preserve its principles.

Gadje Core

Concentration of the Outsiders to form Central public space within very private living skin of the Romani Community


The main intention of the structure is to integrate both aspects of Apartment housing and Gecekondu. Golden Horn is not categorized by the Municipal Authority as area to follow the new Earthquake prevention regulations, therefore is safe from being destroyed by TOKI, which aids the same claim of private property law as Gecekondu. This monumental figure of the Romani announces itself as a distinct entity within the Urban context of Istanbul and is a direct opposition to the homogeneous Westernization Movement that is being imposed by the government with eclectic personalisation as its rebellious device.


Erratic Amalgamation and Sanctity of Romani and Gadje Clutter