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New perspectives to save cultural heritage
Altan, M. Orhan

CIPA 2003 XIX th International Symposium, 30 September - 04 October, 2003, Antalya, Turkey
Figure 6. The Bosphorus Bridge.
3.6 Land use
The primary land use in the Bosphorus was housing. The
inhabitants of the traditional villages of the Bosphorus had
mostly settled on the bay and the inner parts of the valleys
leaving the shore to the waterfront residences and palaces.
Today, the districts of the Bosphorus on the south (near the city
centre) are densely populated with every kind of urban land use,
whereas the population density decreases to the north and these
districts are mostly used for recreation and tourism.
The industry in the Bosphorus area is limited and it is located to
the north of the strait and there are numerous historical
buildings all over the area open to public as museums.
3.7 Architecture
Apart from the general characteristics of traditional Turkish
house the specific characteristics of the Bosphorus affected the
architecture of the buildings on the strait. The primary factor
affecting the design was the view (Bosphorus), and the houses
were designed to benefit the most of it. The second important
factor was the sun.
As the general formation of the strait is on north-south axis, the
houses on the European side get the morning sun whereas those
on the Asian side get the afternoon sun. This is refleted on their
facades (the latter have shutters to protect them from this
negative factor). As the houses were almost built on the sea the
principle rooms were on the upper floors and the material used
for the construction was wood instead of masonry to get enough
protection from damp. But the late examples represent western
styles such as Art Nouveau, Neoclassical, Baroque or Rococo
and all were masonry buildings belonging to foreign consulates
or the palace members or the emperor (sultan) himself. The
colours used in their facades were mainly pale colours
(primarily white) to contrast with the green vegetation
surrounding them (Tunbi?, 1995, p.l 12).
It is sad to state that the most of the waterfront houses of the
19 lh century doesn’t exist now and those that could be preserved
stand like stangers among their new neighbours most of which
do not even bear a sign of the ones they have replaced.
Figure 7. Amcazade Huseyin Pasa Yalisi , one of the oldest
waterfront buildings in Istanbul (date: 1699).
Figure 8.Waterfront buildings from 19 th century.
Figure 9. Contemporary waterfront buildings.
The building activities that had began in 1956-59 with the
construction of new roads and roads widening in the historical
peninsula and the whole city have made the Bosphorus area a
suitable place for settlements and caused the city to further
enlarge to the north via Bosphorus.
With the “Beyoglu Arrangemenet Plan” in 1954 the aearas
between Mecidiyekoy and Levent (district not on the shore but
adjacenet to those on the shore) were assigned for industrial
use, and with “Istanbul Industrial Plan” in 1955 istinye,
Pasabahce, Beykoz (distircts on the shore) were shown among
the areas for indusrty.
In 1966 the “Istanbul Industrial Areas Plan” excluded Istinye
from the areas destined to be used for industry, but included
Levent and the areas surrounding it instead. In 1969 Istinye was
again announced as an industrial area (Aslan, 1989:62).
The shanty towns that have developed in Bosphorus in those
years are merely the product of these false planning decisions.
The first attempt to preserve the Bosphorus from extensive
development was the “Bosphorus Shoreline Preservation Plan”
in 1971, and with the “Old Buildings Act” in 1973 all the
building procedures in Bosphorus began to directed by the
“Council of Old Buildings and Monuments”. The “Ministry of
Culture” announced the Bosphorus as a natural and cultural
heritage site and the “Arrangement Plan” prepared for