Kadikoy is one of the most prosperous districts of Istanbul. It is a favourite spot for the country's executive class. On Bagdat Street, international brands vie for wealthy customers, and outdoor cafés are filled with young professionals. There are exclusive sailing clubs along the shores of the Marmara Sea. It is also a transport hub, connected by boat, train and bus to every corner of Turkey. It is home to an alternative music scene, and Fenerbahce football club, one of Istanbul's big three. It has a population of 660,000, more than some EU member states. The municipal motto is: "It is a privilege to live in Kadikoy." 95 percent of Kadikoy's residents are literate, and one in five is a university graduate.
Like other cities in Turkey the population of Kadiköy has grown rapidly in recent decades, from 241,000 in 1970 to over 660,000 in 2000. Growth has been driven almost entirely by urbanisation, with 60 percent of the population born outside of Istanbul.
The poorer immigrants live in shanty towns stretching south along the E5 motorway, making up around 10 percent of Kadikoy's population. Largely illiterate, with poor employment prospects and dependent on social assistance, the women in these communities face many social problems.