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Istanbul's skyline betrayed

A generation that professes to worship the Ottomans betrayed Istanbul by destroying its silhouette with high-rises.
Turkey's historical Maiden's Tower is seen on the Bosphorus with the city's skyscrapers in the background, in Istanbul August 28, 2013. Along the picturesque Bosphorus Straits dividing Europe and Asia, Istanbul is undergoing a transformation which should fill Turkey with confidence in its bid to become the first Muslim country to stage the Olympics in 2020. Overlooking the waterway, mechanical diggers are tearing down Besiktas' Inonu Stadium to make way for a state-of-the-art facility earmarked to stage rug
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Istanbul with its alluring, spectacular silhouette has been inspiration for poets, travelogues and in the dreams of statesmen who want to control it. Just think of that magnificent, unmatched skyline made up of Sultanahmet Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Yeni Mosque and Suleymaniye Mosque. This silhouette, which has been amply recorded in history, is under siege. Privately owned high-rises are competing with the silhouette’s minarets. And on top of all that, a public project of a bridge across the Golden Horn, with its ugly profile, overshadows the Suleymaniye Mosque.

Crimes against this city protected for centuries were committed in the era of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of all people, who never stops declaring he is a servant of Istanbul, who cites poetry adoring Istanbul and almost bestows sainthood on the sultan who conquered Istanbul. These were not simply mistakes he made but intentional crimes, because the city’s silhouette was marred when the city government granted favors to one of the top donors to Justice and Development Party (AKP) coffers.

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