Tuzla is a comparatively quiet district of Istanbul located at the south-eastern border. Known as a popular destination for summertime tourism in the past, Tuzla now became the home of biggest shipyards of Turkey. As being along the Sea of Marmara bordering commercial and industrial city Kocaeli Province, Tuzla takes the advantage of its location.
Once, Tuzla was a fishing town along the sea where Greeks used to live. Pursuant to Lausanne Peace Treaty, Greek minority left their houses and moved back to Greece and after that Turks from Thessaloniki, Kavala and Drama settled in this district. In time, people from rural areas migrated to Tuzla in order to find work in the factories and shipyards. They built their houses far from seaside where many wealthy families, artists and writers have summer house.
Buses and dolmush (dolmuş) buses are the only way of transportation to get to Tuzla. From Kadıköy centre, you can easily predict that journey will take around 1 hour by bus. Soon the renovation of train lines will be finished and this district will be connected to the city hopefully.
As mentioned above, you can find the biggest shipyards of Turkey, in Tuzla. These shipyards’ contribution is very essential for the economy. Here around 30.000 people work. This number equals to the 1/6 of the total population of Tuzla. With the recently constructed marina, more people will be working in maritime sector.
Tuzla houses many educational institutions. Tuzla Naval Academy, Tuzla Infantry School, Sabancı University, Okan University, Istanbul Technical University Maritime Faculty, Gedik University, Medeniyet University, Süleyman Şah University Tuzla Campus and Piri Reis University are couple of them. Not as much as shipyard industry, these universities has contribution to the life in Tuzla for sure. Many restaurants, cafes, patisseries are opened but still, Tuzla really doesn’t have a lot to offer too many students.
These facilities, located mostly along the coastline, are meeting places for the residents. Fish restaurants offer delicious seafood. If you’re vegetarian, you can try mezes since it is very famous and delicious in this part of the city. On Sundays, public bazaar is being set up in the centre of the district where you can find a lot of organic vegetable.
Being on the coast line Tuzla offers clean water and beaches to enjoy summer. Public beach is generally overcrowded so it is not really possible to find a calm place to enjoy but you can try private beaches as they offer a lot of attractions compared to the public one. You can find couple of them in famous Mercan Cove. Not being discovered by many people, Mercan Cove is the best area to spend peaceful time. In Mercan tea garden, you can also bring your own food and get your drink served by them. This part of Tuzla is also being visited by many photographers for the view it offers.