Past and present conditions of Kağithane landscape: “mesire” becoming the municipal park

Çalış, B.D., 2005, Past and present conditions of Kağithane landscape: “mesire” becoming the municipal park, in: ECLAS (D. Oguz), ‘Landscape change’, Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Agriculture Ankara University, Ankara

  • Author : Çalış, B.D.
  • Year : 2005
  • Published in Book : Landscape change
  • Pages : 129-138
  • Abstract in English : Today, Kağıthane is a governed under a separate municipality within the city of Istanbul. The focal space of the region that its name is designated to and which illustrates its unique characters as a part of the cultural and historical heritage of the city is actually an elongated valley where the Kağıthane River runs through. Kağıthane was an important natural site from the Byzantine to the Ottoman times, housing diverse activities; accommodating hunting parks, camping sites, sports fields, industrial areas, Sufi lodges, residential areas, imperial gardens and palaces besides public parks. In the Ottoman times, Kağıthane landscape was one of the favorite mesire locations. During the Tulip Period, in the early 18th c., the site has become the symbol of cultural reformation, efforts of modernization and an emblem for urban life and festivity, marking a climax point in the history of the site. Until the early 20th c., it remained an important place among the natural landscapes of Istanbul. However, since the 1950’s the site has become crammed with squatters; besides growing industrial quarters. Today, most parts of the central valley section is still polluted with industrial activity; and, hills delimiting the valley are defined by highly dense working class neighborhoods accommodating variety of housing projects, in addition to the freeway development bypassing above the valley. Today, parts of the Kağıthane landscape- along the valley, is under restoration as a municipal park. This study aims to shed light on changes of the site throughout its history, while presenting the cultural, social and aesthetic changes concerning the use and perception of the site in particular; and, urban life and culture in general, from the early 18th c. to present time; from the pre-modern to the modern world.
  • Comments/Notes : KEYWORDS: Kağıthane, Istanbul, urban history, mesire, municipal park. / Eclas 2005