With a population of 15 million, Istanbul is one of Europe's fastest-growing cities. In recent years, areas of the city that have been around for centuries have fallen victim to the wrecking ball. Most of the lucrative property is being scooped up by large-scale investors.
Owners who refuse to sell can do little to stop the demolitions. By law, the state is allowed to expropriate land in the interest of the common good. Legal challenges to the law have already been dismissed. Now entire districts are controlled by holding companies and a building boom has begun -- even though Istanbul is located in an earthquake zone.