Fener, Istanbul. July 2008
I was asked for photos of green doors - I do have some that could suffice, but I decided to share one of doors and windows with a generous dose of yellow thrown in. There was heavy restoration going on the old district of Fener this time. Probably in light of Istanbul being the European capital of culture in 2010 - the European Commission is financing the whole project. I felt a bit ambivalent about the whole thing, quite honestly. Partly because Fener and Balat - despite their historic significance, maybe because they are conservative neighbourhoods - tend to be neglected by the hordes of tourists that visit the city. Which made those districts even more fun to navigate and discover, this year and last.
This time I could more or less navigate my way through the area without the help of a map, which are in all honesty, fairly useless anyway. The streets defy the maps without fail. Mostly people would be amused, wondering what I was up to taking photos of broken, rotten, deserted old houses. Some 57 houses are being restored as part of the rehabilitation program and given the usual fate that befalls old houses in Istanbul I am glad that they will be saved. But, and I might sound silly and callous in saying this, partly I like those neighbourhoods because those houses are dilapidated and often forgotten and I suspect I prefer worn out to freshly painted.
I have to come clean here and admit that one of the houses that is undergoing restoration is one I photographed last year. The photograph of that lovely green door which is undoubtedly a huge favourite. If you look carefully at the picture above you should be able to make out the green door - I got in only the top as most of the door is now barricaded, the house awaiting restoration. I was so happy that the house hadn't been broken down or some such, but then the immediate thought right after that was, "But they will never ever be able to get that shade of green..." And for that I felt a great sense of sadness and loss.