Urban transformation turned into rent in Karabağlar

Citizens became victims of the urban transformation project, which started about ten years ago in 16 different neighborhoods and 540 hectares of land covering one-third of Karabağlar. In the project carried out by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization in the Cennetçeşme-Limontepe region, which closely concerns more than 100 thousand citizens, neither the targeted 17 thousand houses could be demolished, nor the construction of 34 thousand houses to be built in their places could be started. The local people, who objected to the project on the grounds that it is against rent and public interest, said that they could not even drive nails into their houses due to the uncertainty and announced that they were on the brink of rebellion.


The people of the region objected to the zoning plans 10 times and filed an action for annulment 9 times for the cancellation of the risky area decision and the cancellation of the zoning plans prepared for the two separate phases of the project, which are contrary to the public interest. This struggle of the residents of the 16 neighborhoods that won the lawsuits also blocked the transformation. While life continues in the risky area, which was included in the scope of urban transformation but where not a single demolition was made, no one moved to the project area called “Yenitepe”. Thereupon, the new residences that the ministry had completed in the past months suddenly turned into commercial projects. Thousands of houses were put up for sale through TOKİ.

Stating that they have been facing persecution in the region for nearly ten years, the Chairman of the Association of Urban Transformation Rights Seekers, Halil Ecevit, said, “Our demands and grievances have been ignored since the decision on the risky area was taken. There is no scientific data that this is a risky area. The place where they tried to transport us and where the new multi-storey blocks were built is the landslide area, the old stream bed. Reports and objections made by professional chambers and municipalities on this subject were ignored from the very beginning. They built housing in another area, they are selling them for money. That’s the gist of it. Now they are selling the houses they built as a so-called transformation, because we did not buy them. Is there such an urban transformation? This project has actually been a commercial project,” he said.

Stating that they will not give up their struggle, Ecevit said, “They tried to buy our houses for 60 thousand liras and charge us 200-300 thousand liras. We opposed it. Since the first day, we have been fighting against this understanding, which is our constitutional right, against the right to shelter, this order that benefits rent and construction companies. Our main demand is to abolish the risky area decision and to give the citizens the opportunity to renew their building on their own, with the zoning arrangement to be made,” he said.

Source: Cumhuriyet Gazetesi – Güncel by www.cumhuriyet.com.tr.

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