Postcard from Istanbul from :

The Apocalypse of Istanbul

I am in Istanbul, experimenting with a new project. It’s long and difficult to explain but it goes along the lines of: some human settlements (for example the megapolis Istanbul, located in one of the earth’s most active seismic areas) are built in a way or at a place that is prone to destruction of apocalyptic dimensions. Global change made more humans settle in improper places and accumulate more possessions and assets than ever before, multiplying the hazard. We know that most of the houses in Istanbul won’t stand any more in 50 or 100 years – either because they were replaced by quake proof constructions or because they were ruined by an earth quake. Seismologists say the risk of a 7.6-magnitude earthquake striking Istanbul by 2030 is seventy percent. Worst-case scenarios see 40 percent hit by an earthquake with 5 million people affected. Best case scenarios see ‘only’ 10’000 houses collapse and 1.5 million people affected.

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Postcard from Istanbul from :

Postcard from Istanbul (II)

Somehow, this photograph summarizes the ‘personality’ of Istanbul quite well, I think. The beauty and rich new upper class, the marginalized hawkers, the macho men. There are no head scarves or mosques in the picture to go along the lines: ‘Turkey’s struggle between East and West’ and I am quite happy about that. I never liked to see Istanbul that way. But much more as: the world’s only continent-spanning metropolis with a lightness of being that is unique for a megapolis.