Istanbul began a renovation project in the once prestigious district of Balat to revive tourism in the area.
Balat, a UNESCO-protected district on Istanbul's Golden Horn waterway, was once home to a merchant community of Turks, Jews, Greeks and Armenians. By the 1990s, the poor immigrants had settled in the district."Our aim is to preserve these magnificent buildings and carry them into the future," the district's mayor, Mustafa Demir, told a small crowd on Tuesday. He said that he hoped tourism in the area would increase.