Business center built on historical bath in Istanbul suburb
ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
A business center built three decades ago atop the historical Yusufpaşa Bath in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece district is a peculiar structure, which could soon house a café.
But the hamam, owned privately, is also under the auspices of the Council of Monuments, which has presented obstacles for the entrepreneurs wanting to open a café in the building.
The five-storey business center was built in 1987 right next to the historical bath, the building elements and decorations of which carry the traces of the 17th century and served as a bath in 1800s. The part of the building above the hamam, the Turkish bath, stands only on high pillars, with no floors.
The structure, which was used as a cultural center by the Büyükçekmece Municipality for some time, is also known as the Historical Old Bath by residents of the neighborhood. The building could now be running as a café, as its entrepreneurs await licenses – that’s if they get the green light from the relevant authorities.
Nazmi Yazıcı, who has an office in the building, said, “This structure has been here for a long time. It is registered by the Council of Monuments, but is owned by an individual. A person wanted to operate this place as a café but did not open it yet. It has been waiting for two years.”
Stating that the business center was built nearly 30 years ago, Yazıcı said, “I think this structure was built in 1987. And the bath remained under it. This is an interesting architecture. Inside is a toilet, two-three different sections and a hall. Such a thing cannot be approved but it was already built. Historical structures should be taken under protection. The Büyükçekmece Municipality organized cultural activities here for three-four years. It was rented by a person two months ago and will become a café. But there is no operation right now. Lights were installed inside, but I think that they cannot obtain license. The Council of Monuments ruled, ‘you can’t even drive a nail here.’”
“This is a building of 30 years. It was built after obtaining necessary permissions and a license. They even demolished it once because it was a low-rise building and the license was granted again to add new floors. This building has no problem with foundations or any institutions. I bought this building later. There is no problem or anything else. I don’t use the place where there is a bath. Another person has the right of its use. This is a place that belongs to the Council of Monuments. Since the building is constructed, there is no problem,” the landholder of the business center, Mehmet Tekdemir, said.