Istanbul’s Problems Regarding Culture and Construction
Çeçener, Besim. İstanbul’un Kültür ve İmar Sorunları. İstanbul: Mimarlar Odası, İstanbul Büyükkent Şubesi, 1995, 293pp. 


Istanbul’s Problems Regarding Culture and Construction

İstanbul’un Kültür ve İmar Sorunları

The book is a compilation of the author’s articles, written between 1972 and 1993, which investigate building and construction issues in Istanbul. The volume includes a small amount of visual material.

The author contextualises ‘the Bosphorus’ within Istanbul. He points out that the high level of distorted urbanisation in the Bosphorus area is the result of frequent legal changes, due to governmental decisions. In this way, he criticises the conduct of municipal governors and other people who were in positions of authority at the time. 

The author investigates the role played by the Monuments High Commission, which has an important role in city planning. He provides concrete examples where this institution failed to provide the city with healthy urbanisation plans. He points out that the policies implemented did not aim to protect the historical features of the city, resulting in the ‘massacre of nature and culture’. The book also includes some letters written by the author to the majors of the time.

The author discusses in detail the plan which was prepared to protect urban historical areas in Beyoğlu and Galata; he also provides some brief historical information on these neighbourhoods.

He also talks about the damages done to the city due to the construction of roads on coastal landfill, such as in Arnavutköy and Beşiktaş. He voices his concerns and criticisms about the loss of urban cultural wealth, and cites examples. The author evaluates protection and construction issues that relate to buildings which carry a cultural value. He emphasises the importance of preserving immoveable cultural artefacts and cultivating a culture of preservation. The book focuses on Kula in the Aegean region as a good example, where distorted urbanisation was avoided by holding on to tradition.

The author has a good expertise in the field and has produced a book pleasurable to read.

Feryal Tansuğ
Translated by Aysu Dincer

Tansuğ, Feryal. '"English abstract of 'Istanbul’s Problems Regarding Culture and Construction'". Translated by Aysu Dinçer. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 66. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
Related Documents