Istanbul Will Demolish New Skyscrapers That Ruin Its Historic Skyline

Istanbul skylineREUTERS/Murad SezerThe Ottoman-era Suleymaniye mosque and skyscrapers behind its minarets are pictured from the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul November 17, 2013. Look closely on a clear day, and the silhouette of Istanbul’s historic peninsula, its minarets puncturing the sky, has changed for the first time in centuries.

The Turkish government has officially ordered the demolition of new skyscrapers in Istanbul because they marred the city’s historic skyline, according to Turkish newspaperToday’s Zaman (viaDezeen).

Istanbul’s Council of State recently rejected a pair of appeals and approved the cancellation of permits and the demolition of new skyscrapers in the Zeytinburnu neighbourhood in order to protect views of historic buildings like the Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, and Blue Mosque.

The new residential towers, designed by Alpar Architecture, were part of a larger development to the west of the city. Their heights varied from 27 to 36 stories tall.

The drastic decision this wasn’t completely out of the blue. Campaigners had criticised buildings even even during their construction.

One of the critics was UNESCO, which threatened to strip the city of its World Heritage Site status and “add it to its list of endangered sites after repeated warnings,” according to DeZeen.

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