Neighborhood watch: Tarabya

  • June 5th, 2012

    In a few months we’ll probably be leaving our beloved Yeniköy for Tarabya, one village farther up the Bosporus towards the Black Sea. Like Yeniköy it’s originally a Greek village (Therapia). However, it differs from Yeniköy significantly in that it has a large natural harbor dominated by the architecture of the Tarabya Hotel which is currently under renovation. This building is unique to the Bosporus in both its architecture and its size and under normal circumstances would be an illegal building for the Bosporus, exceeding its building height restrictions, yet somehow this one snuck through. While I wouldn’t want more hotels like this crowding the shores of the Bosporus, I’m actually quite fond of it and its placement at one of the last points before the strait curls towards the Black Sea.

    Tarabya is a very mixed neighborhood. Waterside there are pricey properties and perhaps one too many a fish restaurant. Cresting the hills above, there are mansions and gated houses. In between, tumbling down the hills—sometimes literally—the buildings tend to be a bit more of a shambling affair, some from neglect, others because they were probably hastily assembled by flashlight. Regardless, there’s a friendly feel, and as I was exploring the backstreets this morning, I was hailed by three men having tea who invited me to join them. Originally from Rize in the Northeast/Black Sea region they were taking a break from working on a building behind the mosque. They were curious what a funny-looking foreigner was doing roaming the streets. For a glass of tea they got me to surrender some of my story. While I’m still not sure exactly how I feel about moving to Tarabya, it’s good to know there’s a friendly neighborhood watch.


  • Ece Turkoglu 06.05.2012  

    İ like 🙂

  • I.A.W.  

    It has its charms, there’s no doubt about it.

  • Tarabya looks very interesting, and I cannot wait to learn more about it, through you! 🙂

    Why do the dogs have tags on their ears, Innes?

  • I.A.W.  

    The street dogs with tags in their ears have been caught, fixed, and tagged by the city and then released. They generally have to rely on the kindness of local residents and businesses. The ones who make friends with a dönerci stay lean and eat well. The ones who hang out next to the firin (baker) get fat.


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