Fatma Aksu – ISTANBUL
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has prepared a new construction project on the coastline of Istanbul’s Golden Horn that will transform a 9,000 square-meter area with remnants of Ottoman-era armory depots into an education facility and a culture center, amid concerns that the area is at risk of flooding.
The municipality has approved the plan for an area across the Sütlüce Park in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district, on the coastline of the Golden Horn, and is now awaiting approval from the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage as the site hosts Ottoman-era armory depots. The area is partially owned by the municipality and partially private property. As part of the plan, İmrahor Street that lies between the planned construction sites will be removed, and an section of the Golden Horn water will be filled in with concrete.
According to the plan, the area will be used as a high school and a culture center for public benefit, but the Earthquake and Soil Survey Directorate says construction on the field carries multiple risks due to the fact that the ground is filled up with soil.
“The width of the filled area is more than three meters. In such places where there is high underground water level and risk of water entering the construction base, engineering problems like liquidation, flooding, and swelling might be faced. Therefore these potential problems should be evaluated in great detail and ground improvement methods should be identified,” the directorate said in its advisory report.
“In the drillings carried out, underground water has been spotted at a depth of 1.5 to 3 meters. Because the site is situated adjacent to the Kağıthane district and to an area at risk of flooding, detailed gauging and analyses should be made,” it added.
The plan is objected to by municipal council members from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). CHP
member Esin Hacıalioğlu said the plan would transform recreational areas into new construction sites.
Hadi Diler, the municipality’s public works commission member from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), defended the project as “supportive of education facilities.”