Istanbul’s Bakırköy votes in favor of marina project in non-binding poll
DHA PhotoA majority of voters have come out in favor of the construction of a large marina in the Ataköy neighborhood of Istanbul’s Bakırköy district in a public vote, with the project in legal limbo amid support from the Environment Ministry but objections from the local municipality.
Some 3,458 people voted in the legally non-binding poll, which was initially presented by the Bakırköy Municipality as a “referendum” but was later amended due to ongoing state of emergency conditions. Some 1,988 people voted in favor of the project and 1,451 people voted against it.
Voting, which was conducted in the district’s Freedom Square between 09.00 am and 5.00 pm on Nov. 6.
Bakırköy Mayor Bülent Kerimoğlu of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHO) also voted in the poll, but emphasized that it is not legally binding and was carried out only to canvass the opinion of Bakırköy residents on the project.
Saying he voted against the project, Kerimoğlu noted that environmentalists argue that the planned marina would have negative consequences for the environment, the sea and the coastline, while also making access to the coast difficult for locals.
Those in favor of the project, however, argue that the marina would create new jobs and boost district’s sea tourism and trade, providing easy access to the sea for people as the current coastal roads would be taken underground.
Mayor Kerimoğlu said the municipality was carrying out the poll in order to assist his office’s decisions on the issue, adding that he believed the result would also impact the pending legal decision.
Following the vote counting process, a number of Bakırköy residents expressed disapproval of the results, claiming that some voters had taken part in the poll from other districts and without being legal residents of Bakırköy.