Locals plan to protest turnstiles at Istanbul public beach
CİHAN photoLocals and rights groups in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district plan to protest on July 4 the installation of turnstiles used to charge an entry fee for a public beach, saying this is a new practice of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB).
Residents and activists from a number of groups, including Kadıköy City Solidarity, denounced the practice, calling on Istanbul locals to gather at Caddebostan 1, a public beach in the Caddebostan neighborhood of Kadıköy, on July 4 at 5:00 p.m. The İBB on the other hand said the fees have been taken at the Caddebostan 1 beach since 2010 “with the demand of locals to provide better service to beach users.”
The İBB’s practice was first shared on social media last week and it went viral with the hashtag #CaddebostanSahiliHepimizin (The Caddebostan shore is ours) on Twitter. Some Turkish actors, namely Barış Atay and Sarp Akkaya, joined the social media users who voiced their criticism of the new practice.
Kadıköy City Solidarity denounced the turnstiles at the public beach in a statement on its Facebook page.
“The İBB administration placed turnstiles at the entry of Caddebostan beach without any advance notification and violated our right to enter the public beach with no legal ground. The beaches have to be open to use of people from all income levels. [The municipality’s] provision of services to people based on their income levels is unethical,” said the statement.
One of the group’s members told CNNTürk on July 3 they will pass the turnstiles without paying on July 4 in protest.
According to Article 5 of Turkey’s Shore Law No. 3621, shores are open to everyone to enjoy freely and equally. The law also states public interest should be prioritized in making use of shores. Within the turnstile practice, the beach entry fee will be 17 Turkish Liras for adults and 7 liras for students.
“The fee is too high for beach entry,” a local on the beach, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Cihan News Agency.
The İBB, on the other hand, said in a tweet that paid entry had been implemented at Caddebostan 1 beach in 2010 “with the demand of locals to provide better service to beach users,” adding there were two other beaches in Kadıköy which were still free of charge. “The turnstiles were placed to provide people better services as well as to prevent illicit access to the beach,” it said.
The Kadıköy Municipality has clarified the practice was instituted by the İBB and the municipality was not involved in the process.