Turkish PM resents project ‘ruining’ Istanbul’s silhouette

Turkish PM resents project ‘ruining’ Istanbul’s silhouette

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet
Turkish PM resents project ‘ruining’ Istanbul’s silhouette

DHA Photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has again excoriated developers who insist on skyscrapers, singling out businessman Mesut Toprak for massive buildings that were built in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district.

“You must warn me and mayors [about tall, newly built structures],” Erdoğan said April 17 in an address to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Istanbul lawmakers. “I talked with the one [Toprak] who owns those controversial buildings in Zeytinburnu. Although I said they should give [the buildings] a ‘haircut,’ they did not do anything. So, I resented them and haven’t been speaking with them for five years.”

Ultimately, such buildings ruin Istanbul’s silhouette, Erdoğan said, adding that he was not able to keep track of all the new buildings constructed in Istanbul.

“I cannot count all the buildings in Istanbul. Is it possible to count the stars? I side with a form of architecture that accords with our culture. In Istanbul and Ankara, there are structures that have gone against the characters of both cities. I don’t approve of vertical structures; I rather favor horizontal ones. Four stories should be above the ground, while the other four should be built underground,” Erdoğan said.

Speaking about the edifices in question, Toprak said it was impossible to shave floors off the top of the buildings because the residences were now inhabited.

“We don’t have any problem in our licenses and zonings. Our project completely complies with the zoning plan we developed. There is no illegal aspect [with our work]. I have never been involved in an illegal job in the 42 years of my working life,” Toprak said.

“We cannot give [the tower] a ‘haircut’ after the project is completed. Such a thing is technically impossible,” Toprak said.