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Notes on the Geography of Turkey (Istanbul): The Growing Edge of the Metropolis

Istanbul has 8 million people. Or 14 million, depending on how you define the boundary. Here we look at some greenfield residential subdivisions and a town that's just on the western edge of the metropolis.

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Luxury apartments about an hour west of Sultan Ahmet by freeway, assuming moderate traffic.

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Getting tired of highrises? Want to keep your feet on the ground?

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How about a gated community with a grand entranceway with genuine cast-stone lions?

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Think we can get in? Ah, you betcha! We'll just say that we're from California.

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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.

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Single-family dwellings. The distant hills are in the path of the tidal wave.

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Trouble is, there's no diving board. Not even a stainless-steel grill.

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Guess we'd better sober up. Here's a statue of Sinan, the great architect. 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 at the bridge.

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His handiwork.

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Parts of Buyuk Cekmece look prosperously modern.

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When you think of middle-class Turkey--the Turkey that wants to be part of Europe--this isn't a bad model.

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Gates on the downtown streets keep traffic to a minimum.

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The shopping streets are pleasant.

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The town is connected.

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No need for traveller's checks.

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In fact, you have to really work to find some trace of the town as it used to be. Here, Ciftlik Street.

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Construction methods of those days.

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Box-framing with load-bearing masonry.


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