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Gul reignites debate on Turkey’s shopping malls

Turkey is trying to find the best way to control the impact of shopping malls on Turkey’s urban culture.
Shoppers walk in Istinye Park shopping mall in Istanbul May 17, 2013. Turkey hailed its second investment grade rating on Friday, seeing it as a seal of approval from international markets for a decade of economic reform. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTXZQ6S

During his recent official visit to Italy, Turkish President Abdullah Gul tweeted praise for Rome’s beauty, but when he commended its lack of shopping malls and skyscrapers, he reignited perennial Turkish bickering on the topic.

While part of the population and government see shopping malls as entertaining and beneficial for Turkey's economy and society, others express concern for the destruction of small shopkeepers’ and artisans’ business, and some blame shopping malls for contributing to alienation, slamming them as the “holy shrines of consumer capitalism.”

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