Turkish government orders demolition of residential towers in Istanbul

The Turkish central government's ruling to demolish a completed residential development in Istanbul causes analysts and developers to worry.

OnaltiDokuz, Istanbul, Sultan Ahmed Mosque
The high-rise development can be seen looming behind the 17th Century Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque. Photo via Twitter.
August 27, 2014

The Turkish Council of State in Ankara recently ruled that the OnaltiDokuz Residence in Istanbul must be demolished, ArchDaily reports.

The completed high-rise residential towers, a trio of structures between 27 and 37 stories in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district, was ruled as negatively affecting “the world heritage site that the Turkish government was obliged to protect,” reported Oliver Wainwright for the Guardian.

Back in 2013, Hürriyet News, one of Turkey’s widely circulated newspapers, reported that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan had requested the developer, led by businessman Mesut Toprak, to give the buildings a “haircut,” and was at the time unhappy that Toprak had so far not done so.

Archdaily speculates the government’s action is a reaction to UNESCO’s comments back in 2010, after threatening to put Turkey’s largest city on its list of endangered world heritage sites.

The demolition ruling puts the Istanul Metropolitan Municipality at risk of an astronomical compensation claim, because the development was both complete and units have been sold.

To learn more about the ruling’s political implications and potential ripple effect on development and construction in Turkey, head to the article in the Guardian.

         
 

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