Taksim Gezi ParkTaksim Gezi Park is an urban park in Taksim Square, in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district.
At the grounds of today's Taksim Gezi Park, a military barracks was constructed in 1806. Named the Halil Pasha Artillery Barracks (Turkish: Halil Paşa Topçu Kışlası), it was a grand building designed in Ottoman, Russian and Indian architectural style. The barracks suffered considerable damage during the 31 March Incident in 1909, and waited to be repaired.
In 1936, the French architect and city planner Henri Prost (1874–1959) was invited to Turkey by President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He was tasked with the preparation of Istanbul's rough-cut urban planning, which lasted until 1951. In accordance with Prost's planning, the barracks building was demolished in 1940 by the city governor and mayor Lütfi Kırdar (in office 1938–1949).
In the time before the demolition took place, the internal courtyard of the barracks was rearranged and used as the Taksim Stadium. Turkey national football team played their first ever official international match in this stadium against the German team on October 26, 1923 that ended up with a 2–2 draw.
Prost's city plan, which came in 1939 into force, provided amongst others a large continuous green park, called Park No. 2, covering an area of 74 acres between the locations Taksim, Nişantaşı and Maçka extending to Bosphorus including the Dolmahçe Valley. The large park was intended to offer recreation and green space to Istanbul's residents as well as to the visitors when the city has grown further.
The contruction of the park was completed in 1943, and it was opened under the name "İnönü Park" in honor of the second president İsmet İnönü (in office 1938–1950) by Lütfi Kırdar personally. The covering area of the park diminished in later years with the building of big hotels in the zone. Nevertheless, the park remained an important recreational area within the downtown of the city, and its outlook changed often with restorations.
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