Al Jazeera World

Escape in Istanbul

Exclusive gated communities are springing up across Istanbul, but how are they shaping the social fabric of the city?

Istanbul, the city where East meets West, is one of the most diverse places on earth. Its vibrant economy coexists with a rich cultural and ethnic mix.

But, as in cities in the West, new and exclusive gated communities are springing up, in the suburbs and in town, attracting the middle classes to purpose-built estates with high security, schools, shopping and sports facilities.

Residents of these communities no longer need to meet people unlike themselves or to venture into the hustle and bustle of old Istanbul with its history, diversity and traffic congestion.

This film examines the social, political and economic effects of these closed communities – on the mentality of the people who live there and on the fabric of the old city and the neighbourhoods they are leaving behind.

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