Scholars in Turkey Fight Destruction of Historic Ottoman Sites

Scholars in Turkey, at Some Risk, Fight Destruction of Historic Ottoman Sites 1

Tolga Sezgin, Nar Photos, Redux

The Yedikule gardens, some 200 acres that date back centuries and still yield tons of produce, are set to be destroyed for a city park. Scholars fighting the plan have managed to halt it, at least temporarily.

On a hot afternoon in late July, some 60 archaeologists, historians, architects, and activists gathered in the Istanbul Chamber of Architects headquarters, just off the historic port neighborhood of Karaköy, to form a plan. Their goal: to protect Istanbul's cultural heritage from the looming threat of government-backed development projects.

In June, when all eyes were on the antigovernment demonstrations sparked by plans to do away with Gezi Park, in Taksim Square, a number of