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Istanbul’s historic skyline protected

Posted on 3 December 2013

The top floors of the three massive skyscrapers spoiling Istanbul’s historic silhouette should be trimmed, an Istanbul court has ruled.

According to the ruling, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality must enforce the demolition of stories clearly visible in the panorama behind the Süleymaniye Mosque on the city’s historic peninsula within 30 days.

The construction of the 37, 32 and 27 story buildings, named the “Onaltıdokuz Residences,” in the Zeytinburnu district on the European side of Istanbul, had sparked a lively debate after they were built.
Prime Minister Erdogan said last month that he had asked the businessman Mesut Toprak to give the buildings a “haircut,” and was unhappy that Toprak had so far not done so.

If the owner of the buildings, the Astay Real Estate Construction Investment Company, does not appeal to the Council of State for the suspension of the court’s ruling, the top stories of the skyscrapers will have to be torn down.

In a previous decision issued in May, the court had ruled that the skyscrapers were illegal and must be completely torn down, as they “negatively affected the World Heritage Site that the Turkish government was obliged to protect.”


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