A neighborhood which took it's name from windmills
The music instruments store
Mrs. YANI, the name of a comics magazine
Ayios Yeorgios Greek Orthodox church
LOCATION AND HISTORY
Yeldegirmeni is a neighborhood on the Asian side of Istanbul in the Kadikoy district, a ten minute drive from the pier. It derives the name from the four windmills built there in in the eighteenth century by the Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz. For centuries Yeldegirmeni was a neighborhood, a melting point of different ethnicities and religions. Here Jews, Armenians, Greeks and Turks lived together in peace and harmony. It is also the first neighborhood in Kadikoy where the first modern apartment buildings were built and in the last century became a favorite area for retired people.
Today Yeldegirmeni became a revived neighborhood, a new hub for art studios, workshops, trendy cafes, antique stores and a showcase of murals on the sides of buildings and graffiti literature on walls. While mostly young people crowd the streets and cafes, the original residents of Yeldegirmeni are trying to cope and adjust to the cultural change.
ALI ISMAIL KORKMAZ PARK
NOTRE DAME DU ROSAIRE
NOTRE DAME DU ROSAIRE
This important landmark of Yeldegirmeni was built in 1895 by the Oblates, the missionary sisters of France, in the name of Sainte Euphemie. The building was used as the Sainte Euphemie French Middle School for Girls and the Euphemie Notre Dame du Rosaire Catholic church until 1935, when it was taken over by the Ministry of Education and ceased operation. In 1980 the building was reopened and used first as a gymnasium and later as the Kemal Ataturk Middle School . In 1999 after the earthquake the church building was closed again until 2010, when it was purchase by the municipality of Kadıkoy. It was restored and reopened in 2014 with the name : Yeldegirmeni Art and is used as an art center and to host classical and jazz concerts.
ON THE STREETS OF YELDEĞIRMENİ
ON THE STREETS
I visited Yeldegirmeni on a sunny afternoon with two of my friends. We walked the cobblestone streets, passing several small restaurants, produce stands, cafes, art galleries, hostels occupied mostly by young foreign tourists, marvelling the beautiful murals on every street corner painted on the sides of buildings. In addition of the colorful murals we noticed the graffiti on the walls of occupied as well as abandoned buildings. The main theme was mostly about love. One such graffiti said :
“If to love is a crime , then I am criminal” , while another read , " if I was a cat , then how much more you would you love me.”
An older gentlemen who was passing by complained to us all about this change and transformation in his neighborhood. He said he was living here since 1952 , with his Jewish, Greek or Armenian neighbors. “ In the past we had neighbors who cared and helped each other and celebrated holidays together regardless of their religion or origin. Today I feel like a foreigner here, lost in my own neighborhood” . Young people had often stopped and wanted to take pictures with him, thinking he was the late Turkish singer Adnan Senses. We thanked the old guy for all the information he gave us about Yeldegirmeni and kept walking. We went in and visited the Church of Notre Dame du Rosaire and chatted with the keeper of the Art Center, who had spent his middle school years here in the very same building. We passed by the little park dedicated to the Gezi Demonstrations martyr Ali Ismail Korkmaz, checked the impressive structure of the Osman Gazi Elementary School, which was first built by German engineers working at the nearby Haydarpasa Train Station, for their own children. When we thought we had enough pictures taken of the murals and the neighborhood, we stopped for lunch at a small restaurants for some home cooked manti, the famous Turkish dish of meat filled dumplings topped with garlic yogurt.