The Position of Urban Megaprojects in Istanbul's Changing Urban profile

The Position of Urban Megaprojects in Istanbul's Changing Urban profile

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Over the last decade the Justice and Development Party (JDP)-led  government has initiated many megaprojects for Istanbul, which considerably altered its material space. The most notable of these projects was ‘the Kanal Istanbul’ project, aiming at connecting the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea via a 45-50 km long artificial waterway that creates the second Bosphorus to the city on the European side of Istanbul. Other ideas include a third bridge, the largest suspension bridge in the world over the Bosphorus; a third airport on the northern part of the city which will be the biggest airport in Europe; the Eurasia Tunnel, an underwater road tunnel between the European and Asian sides; The Marmaray, a rail transportation project under the Bosphorus Straits and a giant mosque on Camlica Hill. These urban projects amount to roughly $254 billion. By accomplishing these projects JDP-led government has invented a new urban figure for Istanbul aimed at attracting capital investment and repositioning the city within a competitive global system. This work examines how the Turkish state operated its power in implementing megaprojects and the relationship between megaprojects and their affects on the environment, economy and society at large.  In so doing, this work emphasies the ways in which megaprojects are built by various localities, scrutinising the processes and outcomes of megaprojects and the role played by diverse agencies and their interests in megaprojects in Istanbul. The work claims that that the JDP, which has been ruling the state since 2002, governments aggressively pursue consumption and growth-oriented development strategies through megaprojects, a strategy that gave rise to a series of economic, social and environmental issues in urban politics.

Corresponding Author

Semra Akay

Gaziantep University

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Semra Akay

Gaziantep University

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Preferred Track

1. Mega-events and mega-projects: trends and demands

Second Preferred Track

7. Urban competitiveness and social challenges

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