Gaziosmanpasa Istanbul

Gaziosmanpaşa is an impoverished working class suburb of İstanbul, Turkey, on its European side. With a population of 700,000 plus, it is one of the most populous districts. The area is extremely large stretching to the outskirts of the city and up to the Black Sea. It includes small outlying villages in its boundaries.

Gaziosmanpasa today

The centre of Gaziosmanpasa is still inhabited by the descendents of the 1950s Balkan immigrants. Now most of the original illegal houses are being pulled down and replaced with semi-legal blocks of flats, to house the children and grand-children.

Other areas, often isolated communities far out of the city, are dominated by populations of migrants from Anatolia. These areas are an ethnic, religious and political melting pot. In particular, one area of Gaziosmanpasa has a substantial population of migrants from Tunceli Province, a province mainly populated by people who claim both Kurdish and Alevi identities. The mixture of people plus the number of young people in the communities has at times given Gaziosmanpasa the unfortunate reputation for being the centre of crime and of left and right wing violence in Istanbul, with many Istanbul people referring to the area as 'little Texas'.

The city council is trying to spend its way out of this situation by putting in sports facilities, theatres, shopping centres and better transport to the city. But still more and more housing is being built. As the area has grown without sufficient control or regulations the city is still struggling to put in schools and other infrastructure throughout Gaziosmanpasa to support the population, while industrial development is taking place too.

The area itself suffers from unemployment despite the industry coming in, and the main employers are small workshops producing light fittings, electrical goods, clothing, lathe and metalwork and car repairs.

The district was named after Gazi Osman Pasha a prominent Ottoman general who had been active in the Balkans.