Large scale regeneration projects in Istanbul are the subject of a recent documentary by broadcaster CNN.
It is part of “One Square Meter ” a series which explores the leading architectural designs, city plans and demand for property investment in emerging markets.
In the programme reporter John Defterios looks at how the rapid development of the Turkish city and the billions of dollars of international investment pouring in are impacting on its citizens as well as speaking to architects and planners about the projects.
Turkish leader President Recip Tayyip Erdogan – a former mayor of Istanbul – is the man who is ultimately behind the schemes.
Feyzullah Yetgin is a board member of Calik Group which is building 700 new housing units called Tarlabasi 360 in an area which has been long associated with urban decay. He said just the facades of the original structures will remain.
Yetgin told the programme: “For this area to remain as a wreck is not acceptable for anyone, especially for an Istanbulite.”
But city planning activist and architect Korhan Gumus has some critical views – he believes power has been snatched by the federal government in Ankara.
“It could be a space controlled by a citizen organisations and local governments,” he said. “But there is no possibility because the central government tries to control the local economy with privatisation projects.”
Other controversial projects include the large scale privatisation of developments. The programme takes a look at Dogus Holding, a large business group, which paid over $700m to develop and operate Galaport – a major marine transport hub – for 30 years. But it has since run into objections from architects and engineers and its future is being debated.