Byzantine ruins to be preserved on the notorious Yassıada island
Accompanied by Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the head of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), I recently visited Yassıada island where government members were tried following the military coup of 1960, as a result of which three ministers were sentenced to death including the prime minister.
While touring the ongoing construction sites that will transform the island to the “Democracy and Freedom Island,” the Mesa Construction team led us to the ruins of a church.
This church was made by Patriarch Ignatius, who was exiled on this island in 860 A.D.
The church has underground vaults and tunnels.
We went towards the vault with Hisarcıklıoğlu, TOBB Vice Presidents Ali Kopuz and Tamer Kıran and Board Member Şaban Karamehmetoğlu. While we were going down, the Mesa executive informed us “This place used to be dungeon.”
The project is being carried out by TOBB Customs & Tourism Enterprises on a “built-operate-transfer” basis.
“The remaining two castles, one cistern and one dungeon, which date back to the Byzantine period were put under protection. When the restoration of these remnants are completed, they will regain their historical values,” said board chair Arif Parmaksız.
He persistently emphasized that “while the ‘Democracy and Freedom Island’ project was under preparation, the protection of historical values was the first priority.”
During the tour, a chapter from the report prepared by the Ebru Elmas Architecture Office, a part of the Mesa Construction team, captured my attention.
Yassıada was bought by naval forces in 1947. Construction began in 1949. In 1952, it was opened for educational purposes. With the efforts of Admiral Sadık Altıncan, Yassıada Training Command was founded as a modern naval education facility with a capacity of 2,000 people.
While we were approaching the island and during the tour, Arif Parmaksız constantly emphasized the following:
“Though we are near the end, construction is still ongoing. Since construction is ongoing, the intense concrete image attracts the attention. When the project is complete, Yassıada will be greener with landscaping designs and trees will be planted.”
From his presentation, he showed the planned images of the island after the completion of the project.
“After this project, Yassıada, which has been inactive, will be much greener and with its historical artifacts resurrected, it will be open to the public.”
The intense image of concrete in Yassıada, where construction still continues, is indeed real. The project is about to be completed in five to six months. When the island reopens, we will all see the “return of green.”
US dollar rate fixed at 3.77 Turkish Liras for Osmangazi Bridge
I had the opportunity of speaking to Nurol Holding Vice President Oğuz Çarmıklı. He explained the effect of upward volatility in foreign exchange currencies with the example of the Osmangazi Bridge, of which Nurol Holding is a partner in the consortium.
“The United States dollar rate was fixed at 3.77 Turkish Liras in December 2017 for the difference the Treasury will pay us in terms of the Osmangazi Bridge. [The difference between the number of cars the Treasury has pledged will pass and the actual number of cars that have passed on the bridge],” he said.
Çarmıklı said the payment has been delayed until after 16 months and the payment for the difference for 2018 will be made in April 2019.