I have been living in Bostanlı, or ‘across the sea’ as I like to call it, for over thirty years now. To live in this neighborhood by the sea has always given me a sense of freedom! As soon as April, you will find people from the neighborhood by the sea. Bostanlı coast has always been a place to meet, socialize, rest, exercise, or walk in the evenings. It’s like the summer resort where everyone knows and greets one another. Bostanlı is administratively under Karşıyaka, and its most important characteristics historically have been its resemblance to a summer resort and its perception as a holiday spot with its green gardens and Yamanlar forest reaching the sea. In the past, houses on the coast owned by Levantines were referred to as summer houses and Kordonboyu was the place to be on Sundays.
Bostanlı used to be called Papa Scala or Papas Village. Its current name comes from the fact that it served as a distribution point for watermelons and melons grown in the market gardens of Menemen.
The buildings lay parallel to the sea in this neighborhood, and the coast is considered to be a place to breathe. The 8 kilometers of uninterrupted coastline, which spans from Alabey to Mavişehir, forms a lively green public space with its children’s parks and residential areas. For this project, I covered the coastline that spans from the point where Bostanlı stream meets the Gulf to Mavişehir. This area was renovated under the ‘İzmirdeniz’ project, which aimed at strengthening the relationship between the residents of İzmir and the sea. The project was concluded and the space was opened to public in 2016. Residents of Bostanlı and İzmir were given a new space to exercise and to socialize with the introduction of activity spaces such as the pedestrian bridge, sunset terrace, volleyball and basketball courts, roller-skate and skating rinks, and tables for ping pong.
Perhaps due to its proximity to the Mediterranean, residents of Bostanlı, just like the rest of İzmir, like to dilly dally and to chat. It’s possible to see people of all ages and social backgrounds by the sea. From the end of the shift at work until late at night, life continues on the coast, so it’s no surprise to run into peddlers who sell food and musicians who make the conversations more enjoyable.
Within the scope of ‘Mahalle@İzmir’, I photographed Bostanlı at night - most importantly because the night strolls I went on the coast made me feel like I belonged to this city. So, I was very interested in witnessing the energy created by the residents of the neighborhood here.
In ‘In Praise of Idleness’ Bertrand Russell writes: “A great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work.” This sentence is almost dedicated to the people of Bostanlı, freewheelers who are keen on spending their nights by the sea.