Istanbul’s famous 'defiant house' soon to be demolished
Gülistan Alagöz ISTANBUL
Like the other 584 local shareholders, Demirel will receive five apartments in return for his house.An Istanbul family, which has been singlehandedly blocking a major urban transformation project in Istanbul’s Fikirtepe neighborhood, has finally given approval for their house to be demolished, daily Hürriyet has learned.
The Demirel family’s house, which is located on a hill after the main construction company demolished the houses and the land around the Demirel home, had initially become a symbol of resistance against urban transformation projects in the country, as they refused to sell their house in exchange for apartments.
Despite his protests, Alaaddin Demirel, owner of the house located in the middle of the 30,000 squaremeter construction site, finally signed an agreement with the company, Vartaş Yapı, on Aug. 4.
Like the other 584 local shareholders, Demirel will receive five apartments in return for his house, said Ömer Faruk Barata, chairman of Vartaş Yapı. “We will begin the demolition in a few days. The problem with those who didn’t sign the agreement will be solved through expropriation,” Barata said.
Efforts to transform the neighborhood have been taking place over the last four years. The Environment and Urban Planning Ministry, which acted as a mediator between Demirel and Vartaş Yapı, had recently decided to adopt an urgent expropriation decision against the inhabitants who prevented the project.
In the project that was effectively blocked by Demirel, Vartaş Yapı has been paying 640,000 Turkish Liras each month to cover the renting costs of local shareholders who left their homes more than two years ago, with Vartaş Yapı claiming they aim to build 1,100 residential homes in the area.
During the evacuation period, several Syrian refugees settled down in the empty buildings, but complaints from locals in Fikirtepe lead Vartaş Yapı to accelerate the timetable for the demolition of the buildings in order to stop the refugees from settling in the area.