In an effort to protect Turkey’s historic skylines from uncontrolled urbanization, the Turkish Parliament has passed an amendment that would grant zoning authority to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization as well as set up an aesthetic architectural commission.
More after the break...
The decision comes shortly after last year’s battle over a triad of residential towers - the OnaltiDokuz Residences - which marred Istanbul’s picturesque skyline by disrupting the silhouettes of three major world heritage sites: the Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace and Sultanahmet Mosque. With the support of the public, the city’s 4th Administrative Court ordered for demolition of the towers by deeming their construction illegal - a decision the tower’s owners plan to appeal.
Though the city is bursting at the seams with rapid population growth, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stands firmly against vertical structures and believes no building should surpass four stories above and below ground.
“I side with a form of architecture that accords with our culture. In Istanbul and Ankara, there are structures that have gone against the characters of both cities. I don't approve,” Erdoğan commented in an address to the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) Istanbul lawmakers on April 17.
Meanwhile, protestors have temporarily saved Gezi Park near Taksim Square from being demolished. Read all about it here.
Image via Flickr User Harvey Barrison, licensed through Creative Commons.