Istanbul activists protest luxurious harbor and hotel complex project on Bosphorus
Activists staged a protest to denounce the redevelopment project of Istanbul’s cruise port in Karaköy, Aug. 19. DHA PhotoActivists staged a protest to denounce the redevelopment project of Istanbul’s cruise port and its surroundings in the historic Karaköy neighborhood along the Bosphorus on Aug. 19, claiming the ambitious new harbor complex will spoil the city’s silhouette.
The Istanbul Salıpazarı Port Area project, also known as Galataport, was privatized in a tender held last May and has been designed to harbor luxurious hotels, restaurants and shopping malls.
The protesters disrupted the meeting on the environment impact assessment report (ÇED), claiming it was held as a showpiece to fulfill the procedural requirements. They also slammed the project as “unlawful,” saying it would alter the appearance of one of Istanbul’s oldest neighborhoods, which overlooks the old city. Riot police teams were dispatched to the area during the protest.
The tender was held after several years of controversy over the project and became the subject of several new judicial cases filed by architects, urban planners and chambers.
Activists also criticize the redevelopment plans, arguing it will further alienate Istanbul residents, turning an important center of leisure into an entertainment area that will only be affordable for the upper class.
They also propose to convert the area into a cultural center due to its closeness to several museums and galleries, including Istanbul Modern and Tütün Deposu.