TARLABAŞI - İSTANBUL (1985 - 1987)

© Robertine ter Haar-Romeny

She lived for years in an old neighbourhood of Istanbul, Tarlabaşı. The sights and sounds of Istanbul were her passion. An amateur photographer with a keen eye for the picturesque, Robertine ter Haar-Romeny took numerous pictures of street scenes and cats, another passion of hers. In 1985 work was begun on transforming the old narrow Tarlabaşı Caddesi into a modern six-lane highway, Tarlabaşı Boulevard, linking Taksim Square via the Ataturk Bridge with the other side of the Golden Horn. This, alas, involved the demolition of a long strip of buildings on one side of the Tarlabaşı Street. Touched by the drama unfolding before her eyes, Robertine took her camera and started documenting the irrevocable changes this part of Istanbul was undergoing. Not only did she manage to capture the architectural beauty of the historic buildings, but also the apocalyptic atmosphere of those days. We present here for the first time a small selection from Robertine ter Haar-Romeny's pictorial eye witness account of the Tarlabaşı demolition activities...