More on Turkey’s demolition of three ‘illegal’ towers

Recently, DesignMENA published a story on Turkey’s new endeavour to demolish skyscrapers in Istanbul, and now more information has been revealed.

The Turkish Council of State has recently ruled that the OnaltiDokuz Residence, a set of three residential towers in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu District must be demolished.

According to the ruling put forth, the development “negatively affected the world heritage site that the Turkish government was obliged to protect.”

The land was originally zoned for a maximum height of 5 stories per building, but after the land was sold to the developer it was rezoned by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. The residential buildings now stand at 27 and 37 stories tall.

The ruling could potentially lead the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality into a massive compensation claim, seeing as the development is already complete and the apartments have been bought out.

The decision to demolish skyscrapers circling the Hagia Sophia have come under attack by the Turkish public, leading to further criticism of Turkish president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan has recently proposed to demolish other buildings as well, noting that he did not know about the OnaltiDokuz designs in advance.

Some have argued that the recent tension from the Turkish government towards preserving the iconic Turkish horizon is in response to UNESCO, who in 2010 threatened to put the city on the list of endangered world heritage sites.