15 Chamber of Architects members detained in evacuation of Istanbul’s Yıldız Palace
AA photoPolice detained a total of 15 people on May 31 after the Beşiktaş District Governor’s Office ordered the eviction of the Chamber of Architects from a building that had been granted to them until 2051.
Police detained a number of people including the top executives of the chamber from the outbuilding of the Ottoman-era Yıldız Palace.
Sami Yılmaztürk, Cem Tüzün, Ali Hacıalioğlu, Metin Karadağ, Eyüp Muhcu, Can Atalay, Hilmi Etikan, Mücella Yapıcı, Sinan Omacan, Zeki Arslan, Nihat Uçukoğlu, Mürsel Selçuk, Hasan Fener, Yasemin Dura and Ersin Kiriş were detained for resisting the evacuation notice.
The Chamber of Architects issued a statement on the detentions, saying the evictions amounted to “confiscation and theft.”
But the governor’s office said the eviction was lawful because the Culture Ministry General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums unilaterally canceled the protocol after the palace was allocated for use by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2015.
Muhçu, however, said the police had no right to evict everyone from the building without a court order.
The date of the raid appeared to be carefully chosen, as May 31 marks the third anniversary of the Gezi protests, which were initially spearheaded by members of the chamber.
The palace, built on a Beşiktaş hill near the Bosphorus Strait, was used by Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II (1876-1909) as a center for state affairs. At the time, it was known as the Saray-i Humayun (Central Palace).