Emre Yalçın / Planning and Construction in Istanbul in the Republican Period (1923-1960)

Planning and Construction in Istanbul in the Republican Period (1923-1960)

This work focuses on the ancient core of Istanbul. Istanbul was an imperial for fifteen centuries, but in 1923 it was transformed into an ordinary city. It lost a part of population, as well as economic and politic power.

Then, the great depression affected Turkey already trying to recover from the defects of the War. Thus Istanbul entered a period of stagnation for two decades. However, the government wanted to have a planned development and hired a renowned urbanist, Henri Prost.

When Prost arrived in 1933, Turkey had a state-interventionist economy. Turkey determined its place on the Western Block right after the Second World War. Governments gradually transformed the national economy into a more liberal one. Prost left behind a large amount of plans and projects for the city in 1951.

Democratic Party took power in 1950, and encouraged economic liberalism. But they could not mobilize the post-war boom efficiently, and national economy went into a crisis in the mid-1950s. They developed Istanbul in the late 1950s to mask the economic crisis. These developments are associated with Adnan Menderes, the Prime Minister. There is a fallacy about his ultimate determining role in the developments. This work shows how he used Prost's plan as a guide, and how Menderes responded to the consequences of the post-war economic boom.

The last part consists of retrospectives of three major squares. This work is basicly descriptive in attempt to compensate for the lack of it in studies on contemporary Istanbul.