This study first explores the concepts of urban renewal and gentrification in Istanbul and the reasons for their present currency. This is followed by an overall assessment of the views, experiences, and attitudes of the most critical factor in the process of urban renewal-the local inhabitants. This assessment may furnish indicators of significance for future studies on urban renewal. The field study was carried out by utilizing the technique of in-depth interviews as recognized within the qualitative research tradition. In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 residents of the Istanbul Golden Horn Districts of Fener, Balat and Ayvansaray. The study reveals that the popular idiom vis-a-vis urban renewal of many of the local inhabitants expressed the view that it represented a kind of "sanitary engineering" project designed to preserve the local neighborhood milieu.