Istanbul skyscrapers criticised by Erdoğan saved by “FETÖ defence”

A court decision that a group of skyscrapers criticised by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should be cut down in height to preserve the Istanbul skyline has been thrown out by a court of appeal on the grounds that the original judges belonged to the Fethullah Gülen movement blamed for the 2016 failed coup.

“I told them to cut down (the buildings), I asked them specially,” Erdoğan was quoted by secular newspaper Hürriyet as saying in 2013. “It was someone I knew very well. While waiting for them to do it, they did nothing. So I was very upset, and I haven’t talked to them for five years.”

The 16/9 skyscrapers in the Istanbul suburb of Zeytinburnu had their construction plans and licenses cancelled by a court until the top floors were removed, the newspaper said.

The Istanbul municipality then applied for that decision to be annulled on the basis that the judges and expert witnessed in the case were being investigated as possible members of the Gülen movement.

“This decision shows the correctness of this project in this period and has once again shown us that the independent Turkish judiciary will never fall into the hands of the network of treachery that targeted the unity and wholeness of the state of the Turkish Republic and the great Turkish nation,” Astay, the construction company behind the skyscrapers, was quoted by Hürriyet as saying.

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