Mosaic by Ercüment Kalmık

4.Levent is not an area most non-business visitors to İstanbul would normally think of visiting. However, on the quiet it is home to a treasure-trove of mid-20th-century artworks in mosaic form by some of Turkey’s best-known artists which will make it well worth a detour for some. 

Mosaic by Ercüment Kalmık

Hard though it is to imagine it now. 4.Levent was once deepest countryside but work on developing to house the flood of people moving into İstanbul as mechanisation removed many jobs in agriculture began in the 1950s, working slowly outwards from Levent itself. The work was overseen by two architects, Kemal Ahmet Aru and Rebii Gorbon. By the time they reached 4.Levent there ambitions had expanded beyond just building houses to constructing some of the earliest high-rises. But they also started to believe that public artworks should become part of the project and Aru persuaded Bedri Rahmi and Eren Eyuboğlu, and Ercüment Kalmık, amongst others, to take part. Ultimately, twenty-one mosaic panels are known to have been created for the area, most of which still survive in varying states of care.

To find the mosaics you need to take the Metro to 4.Levent and emerge from the station on the Çınar Sokak side of busy Büyükdere Caddesi. After that it will take a bit of wandering around to find them all – a couple managed to evade me. Luckily, there are several pleasant cafes in the neighbourhood should you need a bit of  a break. 

Transport info

4.Levent is on the M2 Metro line from Taksim Square towards Hacıosman.


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