Istanbul’s finance center taking shape

Istanbul’s finance center taking shape

Erdinç Çelikkan ANKARA / Hürriyet
Istanbul’s finance center taking shape

The Turkish government plans to turn the Ataşehir district into a big finance center.

The Turkish government has completed preparations for the Istanbul Finance Center to be constructed soon, said Turkish Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar yesterday, noting that the new finance center would be bigger than the world’s largest finance centers in New York, London and Dubai.

“The project will be composed of four main areas and the center will have Grand Bazaar and Topkapı Palace style Ottoman architecture,” said Bayraktar at a Feb. 8 meeting in Ankara. 

Previously, the Turkish government had announced the financial institutions currently situated in the capital Ankara would move to Istanbul in the framework of the Istanbul Finance Center project, which aims to turn the city of 15 million into a regional financial hub.

“We were inspired by the functionality of the Grand Bazaar – constructed in 1455, still one of the world’s largest covered markets with over 4,000 shops – and the silhouette of Topkapı Palace, the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years,” said Bayraktar. 

The minister said major financial institutions such as Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA), Capital Markets Board (SPK) and the Central Bank would move to the four main quarters to be built on the 2.5-million-square-meter lot in Ataşehir. 
“We will start the construction process soon,” added Bayraktar. 

However, Turkey’s Central Bank governor said the bank had “no plan of moving to Istanbul” and the issue was not on the agenda, speaking at a Dec. 26, 2011, press meeting in Ankara.

Finance Center will also include a mosque 

State-owned lenders Vakıfbank and Halkbank will also move to the finance center. The center’s first quarter will house private financial institutions and regulatory institutions and the second quarter will host bank headquarters. Hotels, residences and a shopping mall are also planned as part of the third quarter. Additionally, a mosque, schools, fire department and police station will be included in the fourth quarter of the massive project, which will employ nearly 30,000 people, according to the ministry.

According to the center’s master plan revealed by the minister, nearly 560,000-square-meters of offices, 90,000-square-meters of land and 70,000-square-meters of hotels would be constructed. However, the Turkish government has not yet announced how the massive project would be financed.