Beyoğlu Mayor stands behind debated project

Beyoğlu Mayor stands behind debated project

Beyoğlu Mayor stands behind debated project

The contructing of the Demirören shopping mall in the famous Beyoğlu district caused reactions last year. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan responded to criticism against transformation in Istanbul’s touristic Taksim district, which was especially directed at the new shopping mall Demirören.

“The Demirören Shopping Mall is pretty new and shiny. Those who oppose it being on İstiklal Street will love it when it gets old,” Demircan said at a press meeting yesterday.

Demircan also said the building was copied from its original 1930s structure when it was a movie theatre."

Then it turned into a ruin and was demolished.

"The ones who oppose the renewed building don’t know the past. Now it is like the original, but they still oppose it. They will love it when it looks old,” Demircan said.

The building used to serve as a movie theater until the Demirören Group bought it in the 1980s, consequently demolishing it.

The long debated shopping mall project was approved by the Beyoğlu Municipality in 2005, and the building was completed in 2010.

The mayor also touched on the criticisms about the transformation of Tarlabaşı district, saying that what was happening in the area was not gentrification but a project of bringing back collapsed history.
“We respond to the needs of the city by taking care of its historical structure,” Demircan said.

Demircan said their aim was to increase quality of life in the area and 70 percent of the homeowners who lived in the area agreed to sell their properties and were not forced to move.