Haydarpaşa zoning scheme approved by municipality

Haydarpaşa zoning scheme approved by municipality

Serkan Ocak ISTANBUL - Radikal
Haydarpaşa zoning scheme approved by municipality

Of the nearly 1 million-square-meters of territory in question, 145,000-square-meters have been allocated tourism and commerce purposes, the plan shows.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipal Council approved a zoning scheme to transform an area of nearly 1 million-square-meters into the Haydarpaşa Port, a prospective center for culture, tourism and commerce, despite criticism from some quarters.

The area in question also includes the historic Haydarpaşa Train Station, the roof of which was partially burned in a fire last November.

Once the scheme is implemented, the entrance floor of the station will continue to serve as a railway terminal, but its upper stories will host the offices of the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) as well as a museum, exhibition and concert halls and accomodation facilities for tourists.

The United Trade Union of Transport Employees (BTS), however, has objected to the scheme on the grounds that it runs counter to both national and international norms of conservation, opting for commercialism rather than protection.

The area stretching from the Harem Bus Terminal to the Moda quarter in the district of Kadıköy will turn into a giant hub for commerce and tourism, while authorities are reportedly planning the construction of a new cruiser port in the area as well.

“[Authorities] are turning the Haydarpaşa Port into a cruiser port. Development on this scale and other ships approaching the harbor are going to block the silhouettes of the Selimiye Barrracks and Marmara University. The allocation of 60 percent of the area to accomodation is turning this region into a haven for hotels,” the BTS said.

Of the nearly 1 million-square-meters of territory in question, 15,000-square-meters have been allocated for the construction of four religious facilities, 7,000-square-meters for administrative offices, 30,000-square-meters for cultural and touristic facilities, 132,000-square-meters for a total of five commercial zones and 145,000-square-meters for three buildings that are going to serve both the purposes of tourism and commerce, according to reports.

“The Haydarpaşa Train Station was especially positioned over the sea by driving timber piles through its foundations. It bears great significance with respect to the building technology used in its construction. Vibrations emanating from the high decibel noise that would come from concerts held in vicinity of this building are going to damage the structure,” said the BTS.

Korhan Gümüş, an architect and director of urban implementations for the former European Capital of Culture Agency, agrees. “I cannot approach this plan as an urban planning project,” he said.