Lonely Planet review for Taksim Meydanı
Named after the 18th-century stone taksim (water storage unit) on its western side, this busy square is the symbolic heart of modern İstanbul. Hardly a triumph of urban design, it is home to a chaotic bus terminus, a cultural centre, the upmarket Marmara Hotel and an often-overlooked monument to the founding of the Republic.
The Atatürk Cultural Centre was designed by Hayati Tabanlioğlu in 1956–57 and appears to best advantage at night, when its elegant steel mesh is illuminated. It is currently undergoing long-overdue restoration works.
The Republic Monument (Cumhuriyet Anıtı) was created by Canonica, an Italian sculptor, in 1928. This features Atatürk, his assistant and successor, İsmet İnönü, and other revolutionary leaders.
When this book went to print, İstanbul's newspapers were full of heated debate about the future of the square after the mayor of Beyoğlu, Ahmet Misbah Demircan, announced plans to redevelop the public park behind the bus terminal on the northeast side of the square as a shopping mall. Local activists cited it as one of many current instances of public space being sold off to private developers without proper public consultation or approval. The site, which has been a park since the early 1940s, was previousy occupied by an Ottoman military barracks.