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6-7 September Incidents

Social Life

Family, Neighbourhood, and Neighbours

Greek, Turkish and Armenian families used to live next to each other in the old quarters of Beyoğlu, Cihangir, Kazancı, Beylerbeyi, and Arnavutköy.  

When they woke up in the morning, the neighbours visited each other for having a cup of coffee together. They used to sit down to eat, drink, and talk. Children would not join these morning chats of neighbours. They were either sent to their rooms or would be outside playing marbles. In the plays there was no discrimination between the rich and the poor. When the dinner time came, some food was also sent to the neighbours, simply because they were thought to be entitled on the account of having “smelled their odours.” The milkman used to knock on the doors every morning.  

The number of family members was greater then. The grandparents used to live within big houses with their children and their offspring. The family members had their meals altogether. In time the size of families got smaller, turning into nuclear families that consist of only the parents and their children. Through the years, the young people started to leave their family homes at an earlier age.

Now, there is a lack of confidence. The sense of being in a neighbourhood is lost; one even does no longer know her/his neighbours. The people are avoiding each other, not wishing to become “neighbours” with others.  Everyone, preoccupied and concerned only with her/his problems, is trying to lead a secluded life in a crowded city.

 

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