The Tarlabasi Sunday Market

An interesting insight into what looks like a great local market. Great photography too.

Katrinka Abroad

There’s this neighborhood you’re not supposed to go to in Istanbul.

It’s poor, full of drug dealers, bums, and (interestingly) the highest concentration of transvestites in the city.

It’s right next to Taksim, and some brave expats take advantage of the cheap housing and swell location—but you shouldn’t live on the ground floor if you don’t want your valuables stolen, and you shouldn’t walk alone at night if you’re a woman.

This neighborhood is called Tarlabasi.


Once upon a time, Tarlabasi was actually a wealthy neighborhood of Greeks. When they were driven out of the city in the ‘50’s, the buildings were abandoned and migrants from Eastern Turkey moved in—as did the drug dealers and other squatters. The district’s reputation precedes it—I heard about the necessity to avoid Tarlabasi before I even moved here—and I’m still constantly warned against it.

But there’s one really GREAT reason to go to Tarlabasi:

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