Bungalows to be moved out of Gölcük National Park
BOLU – Demirören News Agency
Bungalows built in the Gölcük National Park as part of a planned development, which was later annulled by a court order, will soon be sold and relocated to other areas, the mayor of the northwestern province of Bolu has said.
“In the upcoming days, we will put up the bungalows for sale with a tender. Someone or a company will dismantle and remove them from there. And afterward, we will contact the [general directorate for] national parks and undertake work to restore the place to its former condition,” said Tanju Özcan.
In May, a Bolu court canceled the planned development in the picturesque park, forestalling the establishment of 25 bungalows and a 19-room mountain mansion.
The Bolu Administrative Court said in its ruling that the national park – one of the symbols of the province – provides a “unique” habitat for many animal species such as wolves, foxes, weasels and red deer, and the construction project would have damaged the environment.
The Bolu municipality had, however, already started construction of the bungalows, without waiting for the court’s ruling in case, and spent a total of 7 million Turkish Liras ($1.2 million) on the project.
Following the court’s decision, the construction work was stopped and workers left the site.
Özcan, who was elected as the new mayor of the Bolu province in the March 31 local elections, said that they warmly welcomed the court’s ruling. Özcan was one of the many opponents against the project.
“There are bungalows here that were built by the municipality in an imposed way. These structures need to be removed from here. We have canceled a previously given municipal council decision for [the bungalows] to be rented out [giving away the operating rights],” Özcan said.
“It is obvious that a number of trees were cut during the construction process of these structures [bungalows] in the forest. To be able to see the extent of the damage, those structures need to be removed. If the court had not stopped this [project] and the process were to continue, there is also a hotel that was planned to be built next to them. This means cutting more trees,” he said.
“In consultation with the [general directorate of] national parks, we will do whatever is our full share of work as the municipality. We want to restore Gölcük [National Park] to its former naturalness,” he added.