August 23, 2013 6:20 pm

Off-road vision of Istanbul botanic garden

A 32-hectare park between two motorways and in the middle of the city’s vast financial district

Nezahat Gokyigit Botanik Bahcesi on the edge of Istanbul is a contender for “place least likely to host a botanic garden”, considering its location on an intersection between two motorways. The brainchild of Turkish industrialist and philanthropist Ali Nihat Gokyigit, the 32-hectare site is home to native species and a colony of Caucasian bees, and will form an oasis in the middle of a vast new banking district. Nihat’s hope was also to create a memorial garden to his late wife Nezahat, a “green lung for the city, big enough somehow to reach her”.

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