Conflicting projects in Yedikule Gardens raise controversy

Conflicting projects in Yedikule Gardens raise controversy

ISTANBUL – Radikal
Conflicting projects in Yedikule Gardens raise controversy

DHA Photo

There are several conflicting plans for Istanbul’s historical Yedikule Gardens, one of which sees the area as earmarked for construction, while according to another it will remain a green space.

The 10,000-square-meter area inside the Yedikule Gardens, located near the Byzantine-era walls, is listed as a park in Fatih Municipality’s project, while the area is open to construction in the preliminary project. The same area is left empty in the execution plans.

Istanbul’s Fatih district municipality has decided to demolish the Yedikule Gardens surrounded by Byzantine-era walls, while protests regarding the city’s Gezi Park continue. Fatih Municipality, the owner of the gardens, has announced that it will build a park and a green area instead without publishing the details of the project.

Fatih Municipality planned to build a “park and green area” on the grounds located inside the Yedikule Gardens, according to the documents it sent to press.

The preliminary project, which was approved by the Istanbul 2nd Protection Boards on June 25, is described as having two or three-storey buildings constructed on it.

Fatih Municipality officials said there were expropriation problems in the area that is left empty in their project.

This area belongs to the Greek Foundation and there has been a regulation in 20 percent of it in order to minimize its expropriation expenses and the rest of it is aimed to be opened to public use, said a municipality official.

Hazinedar Süleyman Ağa’s garden will be replaced with “Sur Kenarı Café flower area.” An ornamental
pool and walking trail will be built at the entrance of the gardens, according to the preliminary project.

The historical water cistern built by the Ottoman Sultan, Mahmut II, will be retained under the walking trail. Four historical wells are also included in the project.

In the 460-square-meter gardens, which belonged to Sadrazam Bayram Paşa, a “Sur Dibi Restaurant” and a “Sur Kenarı Café,” as well as a sports area and a playground, will be built according to the project.

Architect Ufuk Berberoğlu, a member of the initiative to protect the Yedikule Gardens, said Yedikule Residences were built on a nearby area which used to be garden.

“Now we see signs that there will be new intense construction next to the park and old city walls in this project too,” said Berberoğlu. The gardens, which are a UNESCO-protected site, lay along the old city walls and across the way from the Sea of Marmara and a different park of pathways and grassy areas that hugs the shoreline.