Professional Practice
Galataport, Istanbul / Prof. Practice in Istanbul
I intend to do a project at university about the Galataport development in Istanbul.

A huge area of warehousing on a fantastic site by the Bosphorous is to be turned into a cultural quarter.

I would be interested to hear anyone's views on the plans for this part of Istanbul.

The Istanbul Modern art museum, by Tabanlioglu Architects, has already opened there, and has been a great success. Work to realise their plans for the rest of the site is in its early stages, I believe.

What are members' opinions about this unique initiative for Istanbul?

On a separate matter, I am about to complete the second year of my architecture degree at South Bank University in London. To gain experience and knowledge, I am also working for a property development company by preparing architectural drawings for planning permission. However, my great ambition is to work as an architect in Istanbul. My wife is from that great city and we have a home and family there.

I wonder whether I can ask some questions about getting a job in an architect's practice in Istanbul. First, we have been taught Microstation 2D and 3D at university, but is that program used by Turkish architecture practices, or is Autocad more commonly used?

Will a qualification in the Turkish language be required to work in a Turkish practice?

I am Italian, but was born in England, so I speak Italian and English fluently. I also have A Levels in German and French. Will I be able to complete my architecture degree at a university in Istanbul? And do Turkish practices have the same system as in England, whereby a practice sponsors employees to complete their architectural studies at university?

Thank you for any help you can give me regarding my inquiries,
Felice Minichiello
Galataport, Istanbul / Prof. Practice in Istanbul
Dear Felice,

I am very interested in the development of the so-called Galataport area because the warehouses, which were built in the 1950s by destroying a historic military barracks (see Nusretiye) and filling in the Karakoy shoreline, had taken away all possibility of public use for this coastal area with its wonderful views of the historic peninsula.

I am, however, against the idea of leasing this land to private developers for the creation of shopping malls, restaurants and a luxury hotel and port for cruiselines.

I think one wonderful aspect of the Tabanlioglu project is that it does not seek to do what was done in the past: urban renewal. Urban renewal only results in the loss of collective memory. Those 'ugly' warehouses do indeed have an industrial aesthetic that could be turned into something wonderful like the Contemporary Art Museum, and more thought should go into adapting them for different uses rather than demolishing them to build 'modern' amenities that are available only to the rich.

A similar appropriation of coastland that should be open to public is considered for the Harem neighborhood on the other side of the Bosphorus, where land will be gained by moving out the inter-city bus terminal. I've seen images of proposals that show the coastline as a gated community of individual villas.

When browsing on the internet, I came across an anti-Galataport website at It's in Turkish, but has some images of the planned developments, which may be of interest to you (and you may get some help from your wife in translation). There are also many news pieces available in English through Google.

As for your second question, I've never practiced in Istanbul so I won't be able to give you any information on the software being used. I think it would be more a question of whether you're interested in the work being done by architects in Turkey, given the limited reach of the profession into the larger public and the aesthetic conservatism of the general clientele.
Ozgur Basak Alkan
Galataport, Istanbul / Prof. Practice in Istanbul
Hi Felice,

I am an architecture student in Istanbul, on 3rd year.

I haven't had a traineeship or work experience in an architecture studio in Istanbul yet (I will have a traineeship this summer), but I can assure you that Autocad is the basic programme used. And also some offices use Archicad as well, and 3D Max is also used. Not all the architects are asked to know all of these of course, as they choose people for specific works.

If they need a really good 3D user,then they are asking for the 3D programs he/she uses.

And also, I agree that maybe it is better you learn about contemporary Turkish architecture, and offices, if you are planning to work here.

I can tell you some names who are considered to be very good in this job, like: Emre Arolat, Han Tumertekin, Can Cinici, Boran Ekinci, Nevazat Sayin, Murat Tabanlioglu.

Just for a beginning these are enough, I think :)

Hope these will be helpful,
Sedef Zorbozan


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