Esenler is a district of Istanbul, Turkey, on its European side. Esenler is mainly densely packed, working class residential in the midst of its industrial neighbouring districts of Gaziosmanpaşa, Güngören and Bağcılar.


In the Ottoman times this area, well outside the city walls, was the villages of Litros and Avas, populated by Greek farmers. During the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, these villagers were deported and the area was then settled by Turks who had themselves been deported from Greek Macedonia.

Esenler today

Many of the large numbers of people that migrated to Istanbul in the 60s to 90s ended up in districts like this and with a population of over half a million Esenler has desperately insufficient infrastructure, leading to over-crowded schoolrooms and many other problems.

Esenler has the huge inter-city bus terminal of the European side.

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