Construction along Istanbul’s Bosporus needs new regulation: Erdoğan
ANKARAPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has proposed new regulations for future construction on the shore of Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait, repeating his call against rapidly spreading high-rise buildings and in favor of “horizontal urbanization.”
“There are buildings with five, six or seven floors on the shore of the beautiful Bosphorus. This is happening because there has been no stable stance against it. There is now a need for a strict new Bosporus law related to this issue. Our Environment and Urban Planning Ministry should take this into a consideration and our government should take a determined step,” Erdoğan said in a speech at a conference hosted by the ministry on Jan. 27.
“I’m not saying we should reset all construction. I’m in favor of construction on the shore of the Bosphorus. But all those ugly structures should be taken down and replaced. This needs a new regulation,” he added.
“I am not in favor of vertical architecture. I am in favor of landscape architecture. Human beings should live close to the earth, not far away from the earth. Today’s Turkey does not deserve such ugliness,” Erdoğan said, criticizing irregular urbanization in Turkey stemming from modernization and mass migration to big cities.
He defended urban transformation projects to renew slum areas of cities, but also criticized some aspects of these projects for creating a “Western standardization.”
“While our cities are rescued from the invasion of slum-like structures by urban transformation projects, they must not be pushed into the pockets of characterless architectural schools,” he said.
“Those ugly buildings made of concrete, iron and piles of bricks have begun to occupy our cities, our rivers and even our coasts,” he added, calling for architecture “in line with cultural and historical heritage.”
“Especially in [state Housing Development Administration] TOKİ buildings, the era of construction of buildings suitable for our history, culture, and the characteristics of our regions and lifestyle may even have passed away in our country,” Erdoğan said.
Rapid urban transformation
The president also stated that there are more than 6 million buildings that need to be rebuilt in Turkey.
“Over 6 million houses and workplaces have been identified in our country that need to be demolished and rebuilt due to negligence and mistakes made during the construction of the buildings and infrastructure,” he added.
“We need to get it done quickly and implement this transformation. Up to now, in 49 of our provinces, 187 sites have been declared as risky areas and the renewal process of approximately 400,000 houses and workplaces has been started. Up to now, 2.5 billion liras have been used for urban transformation works that concern over 3 million citizens,” Erdoğan said.