7 Billion Humans | Urbanization: Urbanization | Black Sea Towns move to Istanbul, Turkey

Urbanization | Black Sea Towns move to Istanbul, Turkey

Urbanization | Black Sea Towns move to Istanbul, Turkey

I traced a few of the Black Sea families, now in Istanbul, including Fatmagul Tarhan (the woman on the center) who is part of the family I photographed in their rural yayla (nomadic farm) life in the Black Sea 10 years ago.  They were forced to move to Istanbul for work.  Fatmagul even came here by herself without a husband to get work in a hospital’s medical records department. They say that living in the city is like living in a prison.  In the yayla their doors were always unlocked and they were always in and out of their friend’s houses.  Here they have layers of security and don’t know their neighbors. If they could have stayed on their yayla they would have, they say. There are only 10 girls left in their village.  All the women I talked to were in agreement that boys leave to find a job and then come back to the yayla to find a wife and then take her to the big city.  These girls go to the university, or work as nurses or have office jobs. There is a black sea society in their concrete canyon that feels like a soup kitchen. Twice a year they eat from huge pots of nettle soup and talk about what their agricultural lifestyle was like. Fatmagul was determined to make a career on her own and stonewalled any attempts at marriage in her hometown while taking care of her siblings and grandparents. Turkey is primarily affected by internal migration.  Istanbul’s population was two million thirty years ago and is now twelve million. In thirty years Turkey has gone from being seventy percent rural to seventy percent urban.  The average in the world is fifty one percent urban.

The world became an urban species a few years ago and globally fifty one percent of us live in cities.  Turkey is primarily affected by internal migration.  Istanbul’s population was two million thirty years ago and is now twelve million.  People I photographed in their yayla (nomadic farm) lifestyle 10 years ago are now all office workers in Istanbul.  There just isn’t a good way to make a living in the rural areas anymore.  In thirty years Turkey has gone from being seventy percent rural to seventy percent urban.

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