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An Overview of Istanbul’s Conservation Sites

Author(s): İclal DİNÇER | Zeynep ENLİL | Yiğit EVREN

Journal: Megaron
ISSN 1309-6915

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Historical and natural heritage sites | conservation | Istanbul.

With its 2500 years of historical heritage, Istanbul is situated on a privileged location at the crossroads of two continents. Further to this unique characteristic, the city comprises a wide palette of natural and cultural treasures like the Historic Peninsula, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. Since the 1970s, part of that heritage has been listed and is thus under protection. However, since the second half of the past century in particular, Istanbul has become a magnet for investments and individuals, with the result that these heritage sites are now targeted under an ongoing pressure of rapid urban growth and urban regeneration. This report attempts to provide an overview of Turkey’s conservation history, by placing an emphasis on risks in the planning of conservation areas in Istanbul. It is based on a study conducted by the authors in 2005-2006, in which all of Istanbul’s conservation areas were documented, digitalized and transferred into the Strategic Master Plan of Istanbul, prepared to a 1/100,000 scale. This paper provides a spatial and quantitative analysis of the city’s natural, archeological, historical, and urban conservation areas, all of which have been listed since the 1970s - when Turkey’s conservation legislation was expanded beyond the scale of single buildings. It also attempts to shed light on the problematic processes concerning Istanbul’s world heritage sites.
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