Turkey Passes Legislation to Protect Istanbul’s Historic Skyline Silhouette from Rapid Urbanization

International
Thursday, July 11, 2013
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Urbanization is changing Istanbul's skyline. (Harvey Barrison / Flickr)

Urbanization is changing Istanbul’s skyline. (Harvey Barrison / Flickr)

For 1475 years, the colossal dome and four minarets of the Hagia Sofia have remained the focus of Istanbul’s historic silhouette. That is, until three hulking towers known as the OnaltiDokuz Residences interrupted the scene last summer, sparking another battle over development in the Turkish capital. In late May, the Hurriyet Daily News reported that the city’s 4th Administrative Court ordered the demolition of the skyscrapers, claiming that their construction was illegal because it “negatively affected the world heritage site that the Turkish government was obliged to protect.” To guard against future infractions, this Wednesday the Turkish Parliament passed legislation calling for additional safeguards nationwide to protect historic areas from rapid urbanization.

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