Minister denies Yassıada will have settlements

Minister denies Yassıada will have settlements

ISTANBUL - Radikal
Minister denies Yassıada will have settlements

Yassıada, known for being the exile island of former Democrat Party leader Adnan Menderes, after the 1960 military coup, will not be opened to settlements, says Erdoğan Bayraktar. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah GÜREL

Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar has denied that the notorious Yassıada will be opened to settlement, saying that perhaps a boutique hotel will be opened for visitors to the island museum who would like to stay overnight.

Speaking in a televised interview, Bayraktar said Yassıada, one of the seven islands constituting the Princes’ Islands in the Marmara Sea where former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes was imprisoned, would not be zoned for construction, other than for a museum and an accommodation site.

“We are going to build a culture center and a museum on Yassıada. A place to accommodate, a small thing like a boutique hotel for people who would like to spend the night could be constructed. But other hotels will not be constructed here,” said Bayraktar. “There is no such thing as zoning in Yassıada.”

Yassıada is known for being the exile island of Menderes, former Democrat Party leader, and other party members following the 1960 military coup in Turkey. The trials of other party members were also held on the island. The tribunals ended with the execution of Menderes, Foreign Minister Fatin Rüştü Zorlu and Finance Minister Hasan Polatkan on İmralı island on Sept. 16, 1961.

‘Democracy island’

Bayraktar said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had launched a project to turn the Yassıada into a “democracy island,” but some circles were intentionally introducing it as if it was being opened to zoning.

“Yassıada, where democracy was stabbed, will become a museum and democracy island. We will not allow construction that would harm the memories of Adnan Menderes and his friends,” Bayraktar said.
Meanwhile, Bayraktar said the government had lifted the “mosque” indication in the building bylaws, replacing it with “place of worship” instead, as a sign of “uniting” the different branches of Islam.

“We also need to commune more with Islam’s different interpretations. As an example, every Muslim is a bit of Alevi. There is no Muslim that does not love the Prophet Ali,” he said. Muslims of Turkey should embrace each other tighter and accept differences as an indicator of wealth, according to Bayraktar.