Avcılar is a district of Istanbul, Turkey, out of town on the European Side of the city, just to the west of the Küçükçekmece inlet of the Sea Of Marmara. The Marmara coast road bridges the mouth of the inlet, always an important route in wartime. Therefore when preparing the conquest of Istanbul the Ottoman forces were keen to populate the Küçükçekmece area with the Turks, the Turkish presence in the area dates from this period.
Until the second half of the 20th century, Avcılar remained as a small village on the coast with lots of open land. It has grown enormously since the 1980s. An incredible amount of housing has been built. There has also been a great deal of industrial development, around the port and also on the road out towards the village of Firuzköy, which overlooks the inlet.
At one time the seashore at Avcılar was a retreat from the city, but now the port at Ambarlı is very busy. The road to Europe carries more traffic than ever, it is now a busy highway, littered with billboards and heaving with trucks. Travelling into the city from Avcılar requires winding up onto this highway from Avcılar's network of bridges and narrow underpasses.
Apartments in the centre of Avcılar near the sea are expensive. The centre of Avcılar has places to sit outside, many restaurants, two cinemas, an active night-life and a busy shopping area with pedestrianised shopping streets with American-style fast-food joints, narrow side-streets of little shops and cafes. Young people wander among people selling goods on the sidewalk.
After the 1999 İzmit earthquake, the demographics of Avcılar changed dramatically. Before the earthquake, majority of the population was Turkish immigrants from the Balkans, civil servants, university students and the sorts which constituted a relatively low crime rate. However after the earthquake, most of these people left the district for most of the buildings were of low build quality and very vulnerable to earthquakes. The low estate prices attracted many people from mid and east Anatolia and this new demographic introduced a higher crime rate in Avcılar.