“the wild project” for istanbul…

Since the last couple of months, we are waiting to hear about “this wild project” of the prime-minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for Istanbul. This is one of the weird urban discussions, which has been hotly debated for some time. We, the Istanbulites, woke up one morning with news circulating around stating that the prime-minister, on phone, told one of the columnist from a popular paper that he has a “wild project” for Istanbul. Without giving any details, this piece of information was enough to enrich the imagination of Turkish media. Fantasies were all over the cover pages. Some claimed that this wild project was a huge monument of Mevlana similar to the Statue of Liberty. Others said it was Dubai-like, artificial, tulip-shaped, giant islands in the Marmara Sea. No, actually was it a cable-transportation system that would connect the existing two bridges?
Finally, the prime-minister revealed his project yesterday. He is planning to build two new cities, one on the European side and another on the Anatolian side (Check the article on the Guardian below). The exact locations of and urban design proposals for the two cities will be presented in a week time.
I believe, the concept of having a wild project for a city itself, decided by the Prime-Minister himself is as wild as it gets. What we need for Istanbul is locally decided, socially just, inclusive projects to alleviate urgent problems of the city such as tenure security for Gecekondu neighbourhoods, public transportation, gated communities, shopping malls etc.
Guardian.co.uk: Istanbul could be split in two says Turkish prime minister
Radical plan unveiled by Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cope with growing strains of city with 17 million residents
Istanbul is renowned as the place where east meets west, the only city in the world, in straddling the Bosphorus, situated in two continents, Europe and Asia. But it may soon lose this unique status if the Turkish government goes ahead with a plan to divide it in two… Continue to read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/18/istanbul-split-turkish-prime-minister

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