More environmental and urban planning disasters from Istanbul

So, while we were busy talking about the pregnant women (see previous post), Halic Shipyard is being tendered to become a marina complex on the basis of a 49 year build-operate-transfer model. The project will include 2 marinas each with 70-yachts capacity; 2 5star hotels; shops; restaurants; conference and cultural centres; cinema and entertaintment; a 1000 people capacity mosque and a car park.

Nothing wrong with building these things in principle. BUT

There has been a shipyard in that site along Halic (Golden Horn) for 558 years. It is the 2nd oldest ship yard in the world.

It is an industrial cultural heritage site of great importance.

Not only that but the shipyard’s development should be seen as part of the wider master planning of the city. However, the project is being exempted from all planning and heritage laws and principles.

Architects Association of Turkey (part of TMMOB – Union of Chambers of Engineers and Architects) has declared they will take the tendering authority to court.

For Turkish see:



There was also news today that the neighbourhood on the European side of the 2nd bridge has been declared as “risky” which means it can be knocked down, moved to somewhere else if the government thinks it’s necessary. Who wants to build another shopping mall or luxury villas around here?!

For Turkish:

rumeli hisarustu



The ‘Palace of Justice’ in the Asian side of Istanbul has been shown as a symbol for justice by the government. But the building, visited by around 50,000 people daily has been suffering from a faulty air conditioning system for over a month. Most of the court rooms are built underground and judges are complaining about heat and not having enough air. [translator’s note: Mucella Yapici, General Secretary of the Association of Architects, Istanbul branch, who had to defend herself in a similarly air-less court room earlier this month had said she’d been working to prevent sick buildings like these from being built]


If Canal Istanbul  goes ahead as planned, the water levels and temperature will change so much that the city will smell of rotten eggs. More on this later, in the meantime, in Turkish:

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