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Istanbul’s new cruise port to be an ‘exemplary project’

The controversial planned Istanbul Salıpazarı Port Area project, commonly known as Galataport, will be an “exemplary project” without multi-story eyesores, according to project partner Serdar Bilgili. 


“The Galataport area is of crucial importance for cruise tourism in Istanbul, being the sole entrance for cruise ships in the city … As all partners of the project, we have prepared a green project in which there is no room for huge building stacks. The area will be open to the public and families will enjoy the beauty of this great area in the heart of Istanbul,” Bilgili said.


Construction of the Galataport project is slated to start in 2015.


Doğuş Holding and its partner Bilgili Holding placed the highest offer for the privatization of the Galataport with a $702 million bid in May 2013, winning the rights to operate the port area in Istanbul’s Karaköy neighborhood for 30 years.


The Istanbul Salıpazarı Port Area has up to 1,200 meters of coastline and covers an area of approximately 100,000 square meters. 


“We will start to work in the site by the beginning of 2015 and to complete the project within two-and-a-half years. We will restore many old buildings and sites in the area. There will be restaurants, hotels, an urban park and other green areas in the Galataport area to make it a central attraction again,” Bilgili said. 


He also claimed that the number of cruise tourists could increase to 2 million per year, from the current level of around 650,000, after the project is completed.