Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The Bosphorus straits divides the city into a part that sits on the European continent, and a larger part on the continent of Asia. The militarily and economically strategic position of the city, on the western portion of the Silk Road, and on the shipping route between the Aegean and Black Seas, has kept it cosmopolitan and prosperous since its foundation 660 BCE, when it was called Byzantium. In 330 it became Constantinople, the capital of the Roman Empire, named for Emperor Constantine the Great. The Ottomans conquered the city in 1453/857 AH and renamed the city Istanbul. It served as their capital until Ankara became the capital of the modern nation of Turkey.
Serdar, Ali. '"English abstract of 'Istanbul as the Megacity of Eurasia: A Cultural Approach to Region, City and Environment'". Translated by Ali Serdar. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 22. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Eryıldız, Semih. Avrasya Megapolü İstanbul: Bölge-Kent ve Çevreye Kültürel Yaklaşım. Ankara: Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları, 1993, 235pp.
Istanbul as the Megacity of Eurasia: A Cultural Approach to Region, City and Environment
Avrasya Megapolü İstanbul: Bölge-Kent ve Çevreye Kültürel Yaklaşım
Semih Eryıldız, in his book titled Istanbul as the Megacity of Eurasia states that the developments that took place in the years preceding 1993 prepared the ground for making Istanbul Eurasia’s central megacity. He cites the actions needed to prepare Istanbul for this change.
The author first outlines theories related to the “central places economy” and spatial economy. He defines some basic concepts such as regional planning, regional science and economic planning. In addition, information on the legal implications and issues of the five year national development plans, environmental regulation plans, construction and building plans and city planning are given.
The author then defines Eurasia and the Eurasia project. This is followed by a chronological evaluation of planning at the national level, focusing especially on discussions on particular regions. The book also discusses the necessity of restructuring local administrations following the development and expansion of certain regions. The author proposes models and suggestions for reorganising these areas. He also provides statistical data on urbanisation, economic resources for urbanisation, planning and city law, and institutions relevant to city planning.
The book includes a chapter on palaces in Istanbul, and their significance in the modern city. The author suggests strategies for operating and using these historically invaluable places. He also proposes projects for organising the historic quarters of Galata and Eminönü Hanlar in a way in which their cultural significance can be appreciated but their architecture would not suffer damages.
Since the book is divided into many sections and has a broad scope, it can be stated that some subjects have not been explored in detail. Nonetheless, the author provides numerous practical suggestions to those interested in regenerating and planning Istanbul. Additionally the book is enriched with many illustrations such as photographs, maps and charts.