Travel to Turkey: Istanbul
Istanbul has 8 million people. Or 14 million, depending on how you define things. In any case, it's expanding over the countryside in a development wave. Here, before turning to the city's historic core, we look at some greenfield residential subdivisions and one town that's just on the western edge of the metropolis.
Luxury apartments about an hour west of Sultan Ahmet by freeway, assuming moderate traffic.
Just can't get enough of those highrises!
Don't like highrises? How about a gated community with a grand entranceway, replete with genuine cast-stone lions?
Think we can get in? Ah, you betcha! We'll just say that we're tourists from California.
We're in. And amazingly, there's just about nobody here. The streets are dead empty. Looks like we really do have an American-style gated community, not just physically but socially.
Single-family dwellings. The distant hills are in the path of the tidal wave of urban expansion.
Trouble is, there's no built-in stainless-steel barbecue. Not even a diving board.
Guess we'd better sober up. Here's a statue of Sinan, the architect mentioned earlier. He stares at an arched bridge at Buyuk Cekmece, a town a few miles west of the subdivisions in the previous pictures. Sinan started out as a military engineer; hence his presence here. Buyuk Cekmece, come to think of it, is an interesting town in its own right.
Before we look at it, here's Sinan's bridge.
Parts of Buyuk Cekmece look prosperously modern.
When you think of middle-class Turkey--the Turkey that wants to be part of Europe--this isn't a bad model.
Gates on the downtown streets keep traffic to a minimum.
The shopping streets are pleasant.
The town is connected.
No need for traveller's checks and other Victorian paraphernalia.
In fact, you have to really work to find some trace of the town as it used to be. Here, Ciftlik Street.
Construction methods of those days.
Box-framing with load-bearing masonry.
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