This article examines the effects of socio-economic and political events on the control and management of aesthetics by analysing Turkey's urban planning process using Istanbul as the case study. The external events were analysed in Istanbul by exploring the historical patterns of Turkey's urban planning and development history. The urban aesthetics concept, characterized by different periods from the late Ottoman era until today, includes the involvement, development, and continuity of different concepts of aesthetics in the planning process. In this study, the path dependence concept has been used as a methodology, which reveals that critical junctures or major changes have happened by changing economic and political conditions at the national and international levels. Five critical junctures were identified. The findings indicate that path dependence and trajectories revealed different institutional structures without any integrity for aesthetic control under planning regulations.