Sulukule and the old city walls
Sulukule and the old city walls
Sulukule is located in Istanbul Fatih
Coordinates: 41°01′35″N 28°56′02″E / 41.02639°N 28.93389°E / 41.02639; 28.93389Coordinates: 41°01′35″N 28°56′02″E / 41.02639°N 28.93389°E / 41.02639; 28.93389
Country Turkey
Established15th century
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
34091, 34093, 34097
Area code(+90)-212

Sulukule (literally: "Water tower") is a historic quarter in the Fatih district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is within the area of Istanbul’s historic peninsula, adjacent to the western part of the city walls. The area has historically been occupied by Romani communities. Roma presence in this part of Istanbul dates back to Byzantine times, while it is in the 15th century, upon Ottoman conquest, that the quarter became (reportedly) the first district in the world permanently settled by sedentary Roma.[citation needed]

Sulukule was notable for its entertainment houses, where the Romani performed music and dance to the visitors from in and outside Istanbul. The closure of these entertainment houses in 1992 precipitated serious socio-economic decline in the area.

Urban transformation project

Today, the quartier of Sulukule is under threat of demolitions due to the ‘urgent’ urban transformation proposals developed by the Fatih and Greater Istanbul municipalities. The proposals go beyond the specific area of Sulukule affecting the whole historic peninsula of Istanbul due to urban transformation process and gentrification driven by private sector and governmental agencies, which is currently threatening Sulukule's centuries-old cultural heritage. This redevelopment is to take place in what is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The problematic project is harshly criticized by civil society institutions.


  • Mimarizm.com. Brief History of Sulukule. 2008. (in Turkish)
  • Dünden Bugüne İstanbul Ansiklopedisi (in Turkish). Kültür Bakanlığı, Türkiye Ekonomik ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı. 1993. pp. 70–71. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
  • Porter, Libby (2009). Whose Urban Renaissance?. Routledge. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-0-415-45682-1. Retrieved 2009-08-07.

External links

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