Mega Events in Istanbul from Henri Prost’s master plan of 1937 to the twenty-first-century Olympic bids

The sites proposed for the Olympic Games and international exposition on the Istanbul European
Side Master Plan by Henri Prost (Photograph from the 1/2000 scaled model, 1943.)

Putting proposals for the Olympics and International Exhibition to the social and political context in 1930-1950 of Istanbul, the article digs out the aspiration and rationale behind these schemes. Henri Prost, in charge of the city’s planning from the mid-1930s to the post-war period, regarded Mega-Events as opportunities for implementing planning decisions. Although he was not afraid to tap nationalistic motivations, Prost primarily conceived the Olympic Games and international exposition projects as structural tools in a process of urban transformation and development. He elaborated the Exposition Internationale project in detail not only to transform a derelict district at the core of the historic city into a prestigious one, but also to establish a transportation infrastructure and facilities for social, cultural and sports activities intended for the long-term use of Istanbul’s citizens during and after the exposition.

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