The Kadıköy region, bearing the identity of a summer resort, is located on the eastern side of Istanbul. It has been under construction since the beginning of its settlement at the end of the 20th century. Especially famous Bağdat Avenue district in the Kadıköy region has experienced four major periods of change which began with the traditional mansions and gave way to the high rise buildings. Bağdat Avenue district had been used as a summer resort until the 1980s. With the great urban transformation that has taken place in the last 10 years, the district came to the point of losing its original identity. This collective project aims to build a memory bridge for the lost identity of Bağdat Avenue which was once a "sayfiye" (means "summer resort" in Turkish). We wish to bring together the people of the past and their stories as well as transformed streets, buildings, and its essential colorful inhabitants with the contemporary world.
The project has two focuses; primarily identifying, recording, and interpreting the urban transformation which destroyed the identity of "sayfiye" culture along the line of Bağdad Avenue. We also focus on the audio-visual archive of Bağdat Avenue which still exists in a quite different way.
Destructive superiority of nature such as an earthquake may not be discussed as we consider the destruction of humans such as constructing shoddy high rise apartments. However, it is also a fact that humans destroy their own productions in a way that is so crude and cruel that it can not be compared with nature.
In the age of consumption, the construction industry has become the most important economic engine in today's Turkey. The shareholders of the urban transformation are the contractors rather than architects, the banks, the media, and other players behind this phenomenon. Therefore, the new buildings in the district and the recently applied environmental plan has resulted in the displacement of not only the locals but the identity, intellectuality, and ethics. The district impersonates a new character and has become an undefinable place.
We can observe the power dynamics through capital investments and policies which also constitute another critical focus of the project. Contrary to the situation in the past, a certain upper social class shows itself up today In Bağdat Avenue. The old-established residents of the district have become visitors.