Plans to transform the 1300 monument have angered even Turks who oppose the ill-fated alteration of cultural heritage.
A new initiative by the Erdogan regime involving arbitrary intervention in a World Heritage site is provoking reactions even within Turkey.
This is the tower of Galata.
“The Galata Tower has survived since the 1300s. Unless someone (looking at you Ekrem İmamoğlu) stops them, it won’t survive the AKP. These are the plans for its “restoration”. This is vandalism dressed up as modernism,” wrote Can Okar, an analyst who has left Turkey for Switzerland.
The photos he cites show the mock-ups posted by the Erdogan regime showing the interior of the monument after the end of the intervention.
The architectural intervention is flattening for the medieval monument and transforms it into something resembling any hotel reception built in the 90s, report the comments.
“Destruction of heritage pulls in numerous facets of bad governance. Rentierism, ignoring experts, isolation from international norms,” Ocar wrote. “But bad taste is not spoken about enough. This is an aesthetic failing as much as it is a failing of morals or governance. This is a monstrosity.”
In the comments that follow his post, Turkish citizens living in Turkey and abroad are protesting against the chronic disrespect for the cultural heritage shown by the Turkish regime – while everyone is strongly protesting against the ugliness of the project and its architectural controversy.
The Galata Tower has survived since the 1300s. Unless someone (looking at you Ekrem İmamoğlu) stops them, it won’t survive the AKP.
These are the plans for its “restoration”. This is vandalism dressed up as modernism. pic.twitter.com/qQhcP0bA5v
— Can Okar (@canokar) August 19, 2020
The Galata Tower was built by the Genoese community of Constantinople in 1348/9, known as the Tower of Christ (Latin: Christea Turris) and was originally used as a stronghold. The Genoese had acquired the right to build fortification walls with an imperial gold-wall of 1302. Part of the walls that were raised around the tower are still visible today. After the Ottoman conquest and during the 16th century it was also used as a prison. Later and until the late 1960s it was used as a fire observation station, and today it is one of the most important tourist attractions of the region. An older tower in the Galata area was erected in the 6th century.
The traveller Evliya Celebi narrates that in the 17th century, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi managed to fly from the Galata Tower, using an improvised wing mechanism, managing to cross the Bosphorus and land successfully in Uskudar.