Demolition of illegal buildings starts in Bodrum
Mert Gökhan Koç – MUĞLA
The demolition of illegally constructed buildings in the Aegean province of Muğla’s Bodrum district started on Sept. 28. Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum undertook field visits to the places where the demolition work occurred.
“We had [previously] said that if the violation [of zoning regulations] is not removed [from the relevant construction sites], we would have, through the governor’s office, taken the demolishment ourselves. At the end of the legal processes, the [construction] firms initiated processes to remove the discrepancies [illegal constructions]. Within this process, we have continued our inspections, and as of today there are 19 projects in violation of zoning regulations that consist of 2,100 independent sections and 11 hotel units,” Kurum told reporters on Sept. 28.
The demolishment of these nine projects are being undertaken by the construction firms themselves, whereas the Bodrum Municipality and the Muğla Governor’s Office are jointly demolishing the rest of the 10 projects, Kurum said.
The minister also noted that the authorities had so far given a total fine of 20 million Turkish Liras (approximately $3.5 million) to those firms who did not abide by the zoning regulations in Bodrum.
Apart from Bodrum, the ministry is also analyzing illegal constructions in Muğla’s other districts. “At the end of this many-sided analysis, in our 12 [Muğla] districts apart from Bodrum, we have determined 2,511 structures to be in violation of zoning regulations, and we have canceled the zoning certificate of 447 of them,” Kurum said.
The ministry is looking at illegal constructions not only in the Muğla province, but across Turkey. So far, the authorities have determined about 21,000 structures to be in violation of zoning regulations, Kurum said. “Of this figure, 8,000 are located on the seaside. Regarding all these structures, both the process of criminal complaint and demolishment is continuing. We have so far demolished 850 of these illegal structures and will demolish the rest in a very fast way,” he said.
During a previous field visit to Bodrum in August, Kurum had said that illegal construction sites had been sealed in Bodrum. He had said the ministry would give a month period to these construction firms for them to get rid of the violations or otherwise it would undertake the demolitions itself.
“We will not allow for works to be done with impunity amid all this natural beauty. Criminal action will be taken against not only the firms, but also those giving permission to these constructions,” Kurum had told reporters on Aug. 20, while himself observing the constructions from a coast guard boat visiting bays in Bodrum.