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Zeytinburnu is an old district of the city. It’s located in European side, on the shore of the Sea of Marmara, just beside old city. It’s surrounded by Fatih, Eyüp, Bayrampaşa, Güngören, Bakırköy, Esenler districts and Sea of Marmara. Zeytinburnu doesn’t have any village. It consist of 13 neighbourhoods and population is around 290,000.
Industrialization in Turkey began after 1940s and effected and changed many things all over the Turkey. Zeytinburnu district is one of them where consequents of industrialization took place. Zeytinburnu is special because it’s inhabited by only migrants. The district has very mixed culture as a result of its residents from different provinces from Anatolia whom forced to migrate from Middle Asia, Yugoslavia and East Thracian. They were very welcomed because there was huge need of workers for opening factories. They got settled in Zeytinburnu and started to work at factories.
As a result of migration and unsuccessful planning, Zeytinburnu didn’t grow in a way that it should be. Each ethnic group gathered and built their own houses side by side. In conclusion, each group formed their own neighbourhood. Within these groups; Bulgarians usually work in factories and they have their own neighbourhood same like other ethnicities. As a community, they are known as being introverted. They don’t even prefer to marry with people from other groups. Other group including Turkish migrants from Middle Asia are as introverted as Bulgarians, too. They got settled in Zeytinburnu in 1950s. They are very precise and they always stand clear of criminal events happening in Zeytinburnu.
Merkezefendi is the most famous neighbourhood of Zeytinburnu. Merkez Efendi was very important scholar. His name was Musa but he became famous with his nickname. He was very clever man and he learnt medicine at madrasah meanwhile he was going to tariqas in order to have talk with pundits. He became a well-known pundit and gained everybody’s respect in Ottoman Empire. Musa Efendi had a strong relation with Sheikh Sünbül Efendi. Once, Sünbül Efendi asked him that what if he created the world referring to being a God and Musa Efendi replies that the universe is harmonizing, no need to add or reduce. Sünbül Efendi replied “So, you would leave everything in centre then your name would be Merkez Muslihuddin.” After that Musa Efendi started to be known Merkez Efendi which literally means centre master. He always continued teaching and helping people till he died.
Photo Credits: Zeytinburnu Municipality