The Turkish Chamber of Architects and the Chamber of Urban Planners have criticised plans to decorate Istanbul’s Taksim Square with ponds, small groups of trees and benches.
Taksim Square, Istanbul, with Gezi Park beyond
Mücella Yapıcı, head of the Chamber of Architects said, “These trees would prevent the mass use of the square, so its function ... would be altered”. Taksim Square was designed by Henri Prost in 1939 to be a place to celebrate and hold Republic Day march-pasts. In 2013 the roads in what had become a bus park and grand roundabout were placed in tunnel.
Concurrently the demonstrations against development of Gezi Park lasted through the summer. Since then demonstrations such as May Day and Istanbul Gay Pride have been banned from the square. Now the square remains as a sea of grey concrete, with the old road marking on the ground, overlooked by the ruinous AKM concert hall, abandoned since 2008.
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