Osman Kalin is one of the many Turkish emigrants who has left the area Kreuzberg from Berlin, also called The Little Istanbul. The story begins when he saw a piece of unused land that was left by the Former East Germany when the wall was constructed. It is known that in that place, there was a bend in the border and the construction workers decided to straighten the wall, therefore to save material.
Well over time, this land, became a bit of a tip; that is until Mr Kalin, decided to use it as a garden. He started to grow vegetables and to settle down in that space while The East Germans, let him use the land as he was a unfortunate victim of capitalist circumstances. Of course West German authorities, could not do anything about it as it wasn’t in their Jurisdiction. So he expanded the plan and from growing vegetables, he started to build a little tree house that was constructed gradually from 1989, using bits of random unused materials. He even used abandoned mattresses. Today its a example of what a person can do with what society considers waste.He recycled everything that was considered garbage to build a lovely home. Though its still a sturdy German construction, with a unique Turkish twist; leaving it with a reputation of being iconic building in Berlin. The architecture of the house is unique and its foundation is based on principles and creativity. Though Mr Kalin went through a lot to keep it standing because after the fall of the wall, the united Berlin authorities wanted to build a road in that exact place. The effect would be the demolition of the house. Our motivated Turkish man stood strong and fought the authorities, therefore out of fear for losing his belongings he cemented everything in the ground. This is not a myth, I have seen everything with my own eyes.
Mr Kalin, received a saving grace in the form, of the nearby Church. Officially the Treehouse was on Church land. Under the complexities of German law, this meant the building could not be demolished without prior consent from the Church. Though consent was not forth coming. Mr Kalin lobbied the Church and because they liked his way of life and his family ethic, they decided he should stay. It is worth applaud considering the Christian establishment defended a Muslim family.
To this day, it is where Osman Kalin calls home, the place he raised his children, and where his grandchildren come to visit him. All the visitors are delighted to stop by and say hello to this brave little man that made an important social and political change in the heart of Kreuzberg. He has earned respect and his little tree house became famous, being a very important building for the rich history of Berlin.