Istanbul Municipality rejects residents’ objections to Kadıköy project
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Hürriyet photoThe Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality rejected 3,579 petitions submitted by Kadıköy residents in objection to a planned project that included transforming the historic Haydarpaşa Station into a hotel and removing an Atatürk monument in the area.
The project, which aims to make major changes to the Kadıköy landscape, stirred great backlash once it was announced, with groups strongly opposing the transformation of one of Istanbul’s most popular sights, Haydarpaşa Station. The controversial project also foresees the removal of an Atatürk monument, often used for placing wreaths and flowers on ceremonial days, in one of Kadıköy’s square.
The monument will then be replaced with a 4,729-square-meter fair ground to be used for events and festivals in the area.
The petitions focused on the loss of function by the transformation regarding the locations, and the issues concerning the ownership of parts the land that belonged to Turkish State Railways.
Even Kadıköy’s own municipality submitted a petition against the project with Kadıköy Mayor Selami Öztürk having said they would carry the issue to court if necessary.
The municipality council however rejected all claims, and ensured the continuity of the functions of the mentioned locations. Haydarpaşa is set to maintain its functions with the incorporation of railways with the hotel and the restaurants built around as well the square which will continue serving the Kadıköy residents in a similar frame, the council’s report stated.
The site was within proper ownership, the report added, and would satisfy further needs of residents while ensuring the previous functions.
Kadıköy Mayor Öztürk, however, was not convinced.
“They say Haydarpaşa will maintain its historical function, but what they will do there will be placing one nostalgic train that comes and goes and everything else will be turned into a hotel, in addition to heavy construction that will be built around the station,” Mayor Öztürk said.
Öztürk added that the commission’s decision on the matter was not final and that he would continue to pursue the issue through judiciary channels.
“They ignored the thoughts and objections of Kadıköy residents,” Öztürk said. “But we will not accept this. We are carrying this to court. We will fight for our rights through the law.”
When asked about Öztürk’s judiciary plans, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality press adviser Serkan Fıçıcı dismissed the remarks.
“The works on a plan were made, and were approved by the municipality’s council,” Fıçıcı told Hürriyet Daily News. “This should not be the subject of polemics.”