Turkish poet’s historic house used as parking lot
Famous Turkish poet and author Cenap Şahabettin’s house in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district, where he passed away in 1934, is being used as a parking lot.
The residence of Şahabettin, one of the first pioneers who brought the psychology of the self into poetry, was almost destroyed over the years due to neglect. Now, it is about to collapse.
First, the trees in the garden of the house were cut down, then the abandoned building, which was filled with garbage, became a frequent destination for drug addicts.
Speaking to daily Milliyet, Seda Özen Bilgili, a senior architect and a restorer, said that the house is located on a street that keeps the historical texture of Bakırköy alive.
“This structure is very important for the memory of the city. I guess this building is at least 100 or 120 years old,” she noted.
Noting that the houses where figures significant in Turkey’s cultural life have lived should be protected, Bilgili said that the residence should be a cultural institution.
She also said that the use of historical artifacts as parking lots is against the laws.
“The use of this building as a parking lot hurts us. This structure can be expropriated by the Culture and Tourism Ministry without making the people who bought this building a victim,” she noted.
Known as one of the important poets of the Servet-i Fünûn, an avant-garde movement in Turkish literature, with his poems influenced by French symbolism, Şahabbettin had spent the last years of his life in seclusion in his home in Bakırköy.