'Illegal' construction of Reza Zarrab to be demolished

'Illegal' construction of Reza Zarrab to be demolished

Ömer Erbil - ISTANBUL
Illegal construction of Reza Zarrab to be demolished A regional conservation board has discovered a discrepancy between the licensed project plan and the realized construction work in two Bosphorus-side residences owned by controversial businessman Reza Zarrab. The board has requested the undoing of the illegal construction work.

The Istanbul 6th Cultural Assets Conservation Regional Board, the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s unit that provides licenses for the restoration of historical buildings, is due to sue Zarrab for damaging a registered building by not complying with a project plan. 

The Boğaziçi Reconstruction Directorate, a body of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality responsible for inspecting historical buildings, has discovered illegal alterations in historical residences bought by Zarrab in 2011. 

The inspection showed that an illegal top floor construction had been built at one of the sites, while a tunnel and elevator were built to join together two residences. It also discovered glass coverings in place of historical outer walls and destroyed gardens that once led out to the Bosphorus coast.

Zarrab started work last year to refurbish the two residences, recognized as Grade Two historical buildings back in 1970. After irregularities were found by the Boğaziçi Reconstruction Directorate, it emerged that the local Beykoz Municipality had not conducted any inspections. 

The municipality, however, pointed the finger of responsibility at the regional conservation board.

Reza Zarrab, whose name hit headlines during Turkey’s huge December 2013 corruption case, may face up to five years in prison for misconduct in restoring his waterside residences in Istanbul’s Kanlıca neighborhood.