Aerial Photos Showing the Change of Istanbul

Change of Istanbul

Istanbul is Turkey’s most populous city with a population of more than 16 million. It is also among the most populated cities in the world. The population of Istanbul increased significantly in the 1970s and 80s, and this increase is also evident in aerial photographs. In this article, we have put together photos of eight important places of Istanbul, taken from the sky in 1966 and 2017, side by side. We think it’s quite interesting to see the change in the city.

Aerial Istanbul Photos from 1966 and 2017

1) From Sultanahmet Prison To Four Seasons Sultanahmet Hotel

Sultanahmet PrisonSultanahmet Prison

Sultanahmet Prison, which was built in the center of Istanbul’s historical peninsula in 1918 after the First World War, is the first prison built in the center of Istanbul during the Ottoman period.

The prison is very close to the most famous monuments of Istanbul such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. The prison was built in the “Turkish Neoclassical” architectural style and functioned until 1969. It was later used as a prison for a short time in the 80s. Finally, in 1992, the luxury hotel chain Four Seasons transformed the former Sultanahmet Prison into a luxury hotel in 1996. Today, Four Seasons Sultanahmet serves its guests with 54 rooms and 11 suites.

2) Cibali Tobacco Factory

Cibali Tobacco FactoryCibali Tobacco Factory

Cibali Tobacco Factory, built by Ottoman Sultan II.  Abdulhamid was built in 1884 by two famous architects who built countless works in Istanbul: Alexandre Vallaury and Hovsep Aznavur.

Cibali Tobacco Factory, which was open for more than a hundred years, produced cigarettes, cigars, and tobacco until 1995. In 1995, the factory stopped working and was abandoned. The complex, which was purchased by the Kadir Has Foundation in the late 1990s, was put into service as Kadir Has University in 2002. The former Cibali Tobacco Factory has operated as Kadir Has University since 2002 and is a beautiful Istanbul landmark overlooking the Golden Horn. In addition, the warehouses on the shore of the Golden Horn were demolished after 1995.

3) Ali Sami Yen Stadium

Ali Sami Yen StadiumAli Sami Yen Stadium

Ali Sami Yen Stadium, built in 1964, was opened on 20 December with a friendly match between Turkey and Bulgaria. It was located in Mecidiyeköy Şişli, right in the center of the European side of Istanbul.

Ali Sami Yen Stadium has hosted the football team of Galatasaray Sports Club for over 40 years. The stadium, which continued to function until 2011, was nicknamed “Hell” by the fans and players of other teams due to the red-yellow colors of Galatasaray, torches, drums, flags, and the noisy environment that created psychological pressure on guest teams such as Real Madrid and Manchester United. Ali Sami Yen Stadium, which continued to function until 2011, was demolished in 2012.

4) Şeref Stadium

Şeref StadiumŞeref Stadium

Located in Ortaköy on the shore of the magnificent Bosphorus and next to Çırağan Palace, which was the Ottoman imperial palace in the 19th century, Şeref Stadium was built in 1933 and hosted Beşiktaş football team between 1933-1947.

In 1986, the Kempinski Hotel Chain leased the Çırağan Palace Complex and the Çırağan Palace Kempinski Hotel was opened in 1990, and since that date, the swimming pool, garden, and car park are located in the old Şeref Stadium.

5) The Bosphorus

The BosphorusThe Bosphorus

The Bosphorus is a natural strait that geographically separates the continents of Europe and Asia. It also divides Istanbul into two.

After internal migration, Istanbul’s population increased significantly in the 1970s and 80s. As a result of this, traffic has become a major problem in the city. For this reason, the construction of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (also known as the Second Bridge) began in 1986 and was completed in 1988.

Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge is located between Rumeli Fortress and Kavacik neighborhoods. It is 1510 meters long and 39 meters wide, 64 meters above sea level.

6) Taksim Square And Gezi Park

Taksim Square And Gezi ParkTaksim Square And Gezi Park

Built-in 1943 by the famous architect and city planner Henri Prost, Gezi Park is a public park located in Taksim, the beating heart of Istanbul. This part of the city is one of the least changing parts of the city.

7) Akmerkez AVM

Akmerkez AVMAkmerkez AVM

Located in a luxurious residential area of ​​Etiler, Akmerkez is one of the first shopping centers opened in Istanbul (1993). It covers an area of ​​180,000 m² and consists of four floors.

8) Yedikule Garden

Yedikule GardenYedikule Garden

In the early 5th century AD, Byzantine Emperor Theodosius built three-piece land walls to the west of old Istanbul, and its outer defense system was a 10-meter-long moat.  We know that from the 6th century AD, the people of Istanbul began to cultivate in this ditch and turned it into an orchard. This orchard tradition has been going on for over 1500 years. However, Yedikule Garden has been under the threat of ill-planned urbanization for the last few years, as can be seen from the aerial photo above.

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