Beyoğlu is stage for colorful and lively days and nights. It takes your attention by its historical features and dearest places. It is home to cultural, artistic and fascinating structures. One of the interesting places in Beyoğlu is Cezayir Street where faded colors are come to life again. Being saved from its ruinous condition, Cezayir Street was turned into a center of culture and festivity spirit. You feel like in Paris Streets at the very begining of your trip due to the traditional French architecture and French music. It is the first street in Turkey which has a specific theme that represents the friendship between Turkey, Algeria and France. Cezayir Street, which is located behind Galatasaray High School, was left to its destiny for a long time. Abandoned streets and deserted buildings and the reflections of underdevelopment were revalued by Mehmet Taşdiken’s project. The restoration process took two years and the opening of the street was helded with festivals in 2004. Since that time French Street is more colorful and lively. Owing to the fact that the restoration was carried out by the French, this period is due to a gentrification of Algeria.
The gentrificition means socio-cultural changes in an area which results from that rich people buy a house or property in a less rich community. Gentrificition can lead a community, which is heterogenous culturally, to an economically homogeneous community.The street is attributed to the French by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16 th Century. The French led to the development of the district. Approximately, all buildings are yellow and pink in this street. There are many restaurants, cafes, bar, manual training shops and antiquarian.It is the first street in Turkey which has an entry and exit doors, mainly because to imprison the Algerian people. They were kept chained in holes during the French colonization of Algeria. During the restoration, the Algerian traces were killed by the French to cover their shameful treatments.Due to this fact the restoration means eliminating the effects of French suppression and advocate French colonization. To illustrate, the structures of the building and the street are given through French style. While before colonization the structures were asymmetrical, in colonization period it was turned into symmetrical style. For example; the houses are restored according to colonial style. The colonial architecture style had everything symmetrical which means one pattern reflects another pattern. In colonial style this can be applied to one dominating country is the reflexion of colonied country. In this context Nigeria mirrors France. For example in the street; all cafes, buildings are symmetrical. Identifying features of French colonial house plans include the one or two story design with many tall narrow doors and window openings with paired shutters. Originally these doors were paired french and the windows were paired casements. That’s why all windows have shutters over them and all windows are long from base to top so as to enable the sunlight come through the windows. Also, the color pink and yellow prevales the street; all the buildings in street were painted by yellow, pink or dark pink. However, the color yellow symbolizes light, sun and innovation, which connates the justification as if their colonization of Nigeria brought light and innovation to the country. Furthermore, the color pink symbolizes self-worth, order and protection from violence or aggression. In a way they try to cover the fact that they used violence aganist Algerian people and show their self worth and order.
According to Marxist approach to the gentrification, the notion economical and the political advocates that powerful intrest groups follow a policy of neglecting inner city. They advocate that influences on gentrification are done intentionaly. Once the inner city becomes a source of revenue the powerless residents are displaced with little or no regard from the power. In view of material objects it can be said that Algerian effects are covered by modern French designs. For example; at the entrance of the street there is a women statue of which skin is painted blue and the dress is painted pink. The statue of French modern women aganist the uncultivated Algerian women whose skin color represents their nobility and the pink dress represents the nobility of French women. Also, there is one couple as a memory of Algerian people but this statue is relatively smaller than the other French statues. The apparance of French statues is more delicate and well cared whereas the Algerian statues are neglected and even the fingers of the statues are broken. Even the artistic representions of statues reflects power relations while French represents modernism and power, Algerian represents weakness and uncultivation. Furthermore, the gentrification can be seen in a bar which is called ‘Mateo’. The bar used to be a hole where Algerian people were kept during French colonization. The walls are made of old stones. The old stones represent Algerian captivity; it has a gloomy atmosphere which reflects the Algerian pain and realities. The old shelters were restored into kitchen or wine houses. Despite the restoration they could not cover the fact that Algerian people were kept and tortured in those shelters. So the gentrification is done through the metrials around by neglecting them and their being powerless in front of a powerful interest.
The colorful street welcomes warmly its visitors. There are many colorful lights so as to hide its shameful past. For instance, an Algerian boy works as a waiter and he is shy about answering about our questions about French domination over his country. He says that this street does not reflect his culture despite the fact that it is called Cezayir Street. He is, as the dominated one, at the service of superior rank people. He says that only the stone walls reflects his country, no green color used in street because the green color is the representaion of Algeria even the flag of Algeria is green but green color is not used on propse.
In conclusion the culture of Algeria is not reflected whereas the French culture dominates the street. Through the restoration process and gentrification Algerian culture is neglected and its effetcs are tried to be hidden. The colors of the street and the style of the architecture reflect french power on Algerian people. The atmosphere of the street calls on its wealthy users while the powerless party is at the service of upper classes. The torture on Algerian people tried to be erased through colorful lighting and building. The classical french music surrounds you while the voice of Algerian people opressed.