Yenikapı construction starts near Byzantine city walls

Yenikapı construction starts near Byzantine city walls

Yenikapı construction starts near Byzantine city walls

Hürriyet Photo

Construction for the planned square at Yenikapı kicked off recently, with initial works taking place around the Samatya shores, near the ancient Byzantine city walls, daily Radikal reported.

The construction began by the filling the shoreline with rocks for the 2-kilometer road that is to be built over the sea. The square is expected to have a capacity of accommodating 1,250,000 people in the massive 715,000 meter-square area.

Many groups voiced criticism of the project due to the historic nature of the area, with Istanbul’s Cultural Conversation District Commission highlighting the negative effects the construction would have on the scenery and topography of the area. The construction would also be against international agreements, the commission added.

The Environment and Urban Ministry however approved the projects, rendering the conversation groups ineffective in their objections.

The city walls have been a topic of public debate ever since the missing U.S. citizen Sarai Sierra’s body was found by police near Istanbul’s historic city walls located in Sarayburnu, on the shore of the Bosporus. The safety around the walls came into question after the incident, and city officials went ahead with a rapid clean-up, evacuating the homeless that occupied the area.