City Journal Winter 2016

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Claire Berlinski
Can’t Go Back to Constantinople « Back to Story

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Thank you for the information. We visited Istanbul the spring of 2009 and fell in love with the city and people. Has anyone set a date for the completion of the rail line?
Berel Dov Lerner July 15, 2011 at 1:43 AM
Actually, I find this article heartening. Despite it's recent Islamification,Turks still care enough about their country's Christian past that they are willing to halt a huge engineering project in order to save a Christian archaeological site.
Geoffrey Clarfield July 14, 2011 at 2:28 AM
Dear Claire:

I am a New York based ethnomusicologist and anthropologist who very much enjoys your articles. I have published a piece on Turkish music that I thought may interest you.
Here it is:
well said!
Claire, your words brought me back to the days when I was periodically stationed at Incirlik. The history of this special place has always tugged at my heart. Thank you for doing it justice and identifying the real problems Turkey faces.
Clearly, the barbarians should be evicted from European soil. Constantinople should be reclaimed by civilization.
Thanks for the beautiful article Claire. It made me to visit Istambul.
I really enjoyed your article. It made me smile and chuckle in some parts while providing me with interesting facts about the project and insights into Istanbul itself. Keep it up! Good job! =D
Hey! How about letting the oprobium chuckers (on destroying endless history)bid big $ on saving all of those ruins. Then the ppl of the city can build above ground superhighways with all of the cash. What! no money from the noisy oprobiators?
Get out the dozers and dig.
I re-read the article and what jumps out at me now is the biased editing.

The scary sub-headline reads "Istanbul’s history deserves preservation, but at what cost to development?"

And while the article does raise some fears that preservation will stop much-needed development, the author's put-away advice is to "Visit Constantinople Now" so the upshot is clearly that development will win and that is the prime story, not the slanted sub-head.
This article seems fairly stated; and there don't seem to be any easy answers.

But obviously development has NOT been stopped by preservation, and I wonder the balance? I would bet that development is rarely stopped or even modified -- but then again, that is a somewhat objective question and possible to answer in hard money. The article would be more valuable if some real economic numbers could be applied.

One other factor and might be mitigated when the development is inevitable: make sure the job is well-done and worthy of visit by generations hence. The loss is multiplied when a valuable historic structure is lost and what's built in its place is junk, which is often.