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Contents / Cukurcuma

Winds of change are blowing at Çukurcuma, an Istanbul quarter known for its antique dealers and Turkish baths.

H istoric baths from whose domes steam still rises, piano repairshops, rows of antique shops, centuries-old buildings with secret back gardens. A triangle-shaped quarter bordered by Tophane, Siraselviler and Galatasaray. Traditional residence of Istanbul's ethnic minorities until only recently, Çukurcuma today is one of the city's rare corners where local color is preserved. There's a different sort of action these days at Çukurcuma where art galleries, design shops and cafes are opening one after the other. Old Pera's forgotten and abandoned buildings are being restored and their facades refurbished. The old shops, carpentry workshops and coffeehouses are changing hands, becoming architectural bureaus or fashion ateliers. The newcomers are blending into the existing order and joining the Çukurcuma 'locals' in this quarter which has come to be known as Istanbul's So-Ho.

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