The neighbourhood of Tatavla – today Kurtulus – was one of the wealthiest and demographically larger Greek orthodox parishes of Istanbul. At the top of the hill and at the beginning of the “straight road” – Kurtulus caddesi – lies the open spatial complex of the community, the church of St Demetrius – Aya Dimitri Rum Ortodoks Kilisesi, the School – Ozel Kurtulus Rum Ilkogretim Okulu, and the Tatavla Sports Club – Kurtulus Genclik Kulubu.
At the end of the 19th century there where around 20,000 Greeks living in the neighborhood so that it was nicknamed “little Athens” – Kucuk Atina in Turkish. After the collapse of the Ottoman empire the Greek population decreased but it retain it’s Greek character until the riots of September 1955.
The building of Kurtulus Sports Club – officially Kurtulus Genclik Kulubu ( Kurtulus Youth Club ), in 80 Safa Meydani, 80240, Kurtulus, Istanbul, was constructed in 1896 originally as a Educational Assistance Building of the “Proodos” (Progress) Association. The same year the Kurtulus Sports Club was founded, named Herakles Sports Club of Tatavla and it is still the oldest existing Sports Club in Turkey.
The Rum School of Tatavla – officially Ozel Kurtulus Rum Ilkogretim Okulu in 65-67 Safa Meydani, 80240, Kurtulus, Istanbul was build in 1887 and operated as a school until 2003.
This video was made in September 2012 as a visual illustration of the research made by Katerina Polychroniadi, Kalliopi Dimou and Spyros Nasainas – “Spatial Organisation of Rum Communities in Istanbul: Urban, Architectural and Photographic Documentation” National Technical University of Athens Research Programme.