Architect Arif Suyabatmaz and Istanbul
Arif Suyabatmaz is a Turkish architect whose projects have received several international awards.
After completing studies at a German high school, Suyabatmaz was first expelled from Mimar Sinan University for his academic disinterest then later re-admitted to receive his architecture degree over an elongated period of six years.
While Suyabatmaz, who has spent considerable years abroad, perceives the clear similarities between the architectural landscapes of Turkish and European cities, inherent differences are also present. The European city design, which adheres to a mathematical grid of measured exactitude, exudes an overall feeling of order and balance, while the Turkish design boasts of an opposing haphazardness much less ordered and more chaotic.
Another similarity lies in the imperceptible borders of large cities, where smaller towns are engulfed by larger cosmopolitan growth. Suyabatmaz has seen this in Istanbul where smaller provinces like Kocaeli are merely another attachment rather than an independant entity, or Milan which has swallowed the smaller province of Prato in the north.
However, the tremendous 15 million population of Istanbul is the quality which renders it imcomparable to other European cities, a factor that, according to Suyabatmaz, has also decreased the time spent on the implementation of well-planned design.
In the face of such growth, Suyabatmaz is an advocate of protecting the silhoutte of Istanbul’s renowned historical area, which he argues is the most important asset of this city and the worid’s most beautiful sight.