the authentic dubai experience in istanbul

It is hard to keep the record of real-estate projects in Istanbul. Hundreds of  gated communities, high-rise residential towers, office buildings, shopping malls, and multi-use projects are mushrooming all around the city. The harsh competition among these projects for the limited number of ‘customers’ who can afford them paves the way into a hyperreality in the making of Istanbul, where one can find herself/himself in a suburban Tuscan Valley, a skyscraper Venezia or a cloned Bosporus… The projects below speak for themselves: Tuscan Valley 

A fairy-tale lifestyle sustained by the breath of the Mediterranean…

Tuscan Valley is a gated community project located in peripheral Büyükçekmece District of Istanbul, developed by Dubai based global real-estate giant Emaar Properties, designed by California based architectural firm JZMK Partners, claims to reflect ‘an authentic Tuscan experience, and marketed by the slow city concept. The US$700 million valued project consists of 540 luxury units including villas, apartments, townhouses, as well as ‘world class facilities’ such as Dolce Vita Sports and Life Club, Essporto Spanish Health & Fitness Club, etc. Via Port Venezia

We have redesigned Venice and moved it to Istanbul

Via Port Venezia is a multi-use real estate project located in Gaziosmanpaşa District of Istanbul including residential blocks with 2500 units, a shopping mall with 70.000 m2 renting space, office buildings and social amenities. It is jointly developed by the Turkish firm Bayraktar & Gürsoy Investment and Management Co. and Istanbul Metropolitian Municipality’s housing development corporation KİPTAŞ, right next to the Trans-European Motorway. The project claims to offer an ‘upgraded’ Venice experience in Istanbul. The Venice concept is aggressively promoted in its advertisement campaign:  ‘You no longer have to travel to Venice to experience Venice. The delight of Venice with its historical texture, peerless water canals, and architectural esthetic is now in the European side of Istanbul… Via Port Venezia has more- not less- to offer than Venice. For instance Venice has gondolas and canals. So does our Venice…Via Port Venezia offers so many alternatives in one place, that a perfect life you could not even find in Venice awaits you on the European Side.’ Bosphorus City

…as if you are living in the Bosphorus

Bosphorus City is one of the first themed-housing projects in Istanbul with 2800 housing units for around 10000 people developed by the real estate giant Simpaş REITs in Küçükçekmece District of Istanbul, next to the newly planned Theme Park. The project’s concept imitates Bosphorus, the strait of Istanbul, with a colossal artifical water canal built in the middle and residential units, ‘inspired’ by the historical mansions, developed along the water front. TV commercials play with the idea of moving one by one all those landmarks associated with the Bosphorus to the ‘new’ Bosphorus of Istanbul. Mall of Istanbul

Come and have a closer look at the life in one of the biggest shopping and living centers in Turkey

Mall of Istanbul, developed by Torunlar REIC and designed by DDG, is a multi-use real estate project consists of 1114 residential units, 32.000 m2 office space, a shopping mall with 350 shops, a theme park with indoor ski resort and a hotel situated in Başakşehir District of Istanbul. The architect Roy Higgs describes the project as following: It assembles giant housing towers and offices under the same roof besides an entertainment center sharing the same field with a four-stage mall, open-air terraced street, boutiques, landscapes and numerous social domains.’  


  1. Thanks for this great compilation. It reminds me of similar, perhaps not as flashy, projects of themed-based gated communities in Arbil: Little Italy and American village spring to mind…the spatial nonsense of neoliberal capital…

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