Istanbul razes historic Gypsy neighborhoods

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A young mother and her child take a stroll in the ruins. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A young mother and her child take a stroll in the ruins. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    Young boys watch with fascination as the demolition vehicles wreak destruction from behind wire fences. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A young Gypsy girl strikes a dance pose next to the rubble of homes as a woman walks past, carting her belongings behind her. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A crane batters the rubble next to the ancient Byzantine walls on the edges of historic Constantinople. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A view of the devastation from a derelict building. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    Two dogs nestle in a sofa left behind by families fleeing the bulldozers. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A little boy creates his own private demolition as he frantically batters a brick wall. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    The fresh ruins of a house stand alongside the decidedly more antique remains of the Byzantine walls surrounding the city formerly known as Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A young child smiles against a backdrop of ruins. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A woman pokes her head out of a window of the single remaining house in a rubble-strewn street. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A boy carries a little girl for on one their last journeys through their old neighborhood. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    Three Roma ladies pose outside their houses a few days before abandoning them forever. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    Stencils, graffiti and chipped plaster cover the surface of a ramshackle wall in Solukule. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    Solukule Platform activists hold a last press conference to a background of demolition, demanding a halt to the destruction of properties. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    In the summer of 2007, a Roma band strikes up a season of protest concerts in opposition to the planned demolition of Solukule. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A young Roma boy twirls on his head during a break-dancing demonstration in the summer of 2007. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A homeless man fashions a makeshift shelter for himself in the ruins of the Byzantine walls surrounding Istanbul next to the new headquarters of Istanbul's national gas company. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A woman walks to her local grocer, one of the few businesses that will make the transition into the new neighborhood. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A scrap-metal collector rummages among the rubble and twisted wires left behind by the demolition teams. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A man climbs down from the roof of his semi-demolished house as a wrecking vehicle batters a building across the road. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)

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    A semi-finished new development stands in the background of an Ottoman charitable fountain in the Nesleshah neighborhood adjoining Solukule. (Iason Athanasiadis/Pulitzer Center)