Istanbul(1935-1945)/Industrial Zone, Wall and City

Istanbul has a long history of industry development. After the Ottoman Conquest, Faith Sultan Mehmed relocated several industries from further areas to the west of the land walls. The leather production in Kazlıçeşme had been prosperous since then. In the 19th century, with Ottoman Empire’s encouragement, the local industry went through a fast development and become a predominant feature along the extramural zone. Till the early 20th century, two districts outside the Land Walls, Kazlıçeşme and Eyüp, had developed into concentrated industrial zones.

Industrial Zone in Kazlıçeşme, Pervitich Map, 1939.

From the develop of the industrial zone, we can see that the Land Walls always served as a boundary to separate industrial activities from the urban context. The factories seemed to locate “on the edge of the city”. There was always a ambivalence towards the industrial zone. On one hand, the production from industrial activities was necessary to support city development. Thus, the industrial zone must keep a close relationship with the city, which meant convenient transportation and vicinal site. On another, back then, industrial activities were always equaled with dirt, gas, pollution and unhealthy environment, which should be kept away from city life. According to documents, till the 1950s, the mural zone was kept regarded as a remote area from urban center. And the residual Land Walls provided an explicit reference as a both physical and cognitive boundary. These advantages made the extramural area a favorable site for industrial activities.

The 1930s was another rapid growth period of industry because of the establishment of the new Republic government. And the need is especially emergent in Istanbul since its economic recession. There was one famous propaganda saying “İstanbul has so far lived on consumption, now it has to live on production”. During this period, the relationship between the industrial zone, Land Walls and the city discussed above was inherited by some foreign planners. In the 1933 competition, the winner, Elgötzproposed to relocate factories formerly in the city to the west of Land Walls. And later, the Municipality introduced regulations on placement of industry, which made the extramural industrial zone legally suitable. However, the regulations did not formally acknowledge the wall’s role as a reference line but introduced more modern ideas like green belt and distance between residential areas.

In Prost’s Plan, he still took the Land Walls as a reference line. While he also designated industrial zones within the city, and encouraged further development along the Golden Horn where the Land walls had partly collapsed. We can see that with the continuous expansion of the city and the introduce of modern methods to define boundaries, the Land Walls begun to lose its role as an industrial zone baseline and would totally done in 10 years. While on the other side was the rising realization of conservation of the monuments, which would overcome all functional uses.


Funda BAŞ BÜTÜNER. Urban Fissure: The Spatial Manifestation Of The Istanbul Land Walls And Mural Zone. Metu Jfa. 2019.1.Available at:

Kazlıçeşme, south-west of the Yedikule, Pervitich Map, 1939. Available at :

Tekeli, Ilhan. The Development of the Istanbul Metropolitan Area: Urban Administration and Planning. Istanbul: IULA-EMME,1994.

1 Comment on “Istanbul(1935-1945)/Industrial Zone, Wall and City

  1. The whole research involving urban planning politics, economic growth, population movements, wars and monument preservation is organized through the clue of the City Wall in the Istanbul. A good generally review of the evolution of Istanbul indicated by the fate of City Wall is given. Perhaps you could narrow down your topics and focus on only two or three aspects to deliver a thoroughly and deep discussion.

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