Notorious Yassıada island to be opened for tourism
Ömer Erbil ISTANBUL - Radikal
Yassıada island, known for being the place of exile of former Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, will be opened for tourism after a series of legal changes.The legal status of the two Marmara Sea islands, Yassıada and Sivriada, was changed with a law accepted as part of an omnibus bill that was published in the Official Gazette on April 18, 2013.
“Cultural and tourism services and investments on Yassıada and Sivriada were deemed possible” as part of the amendment. After the change, 65 percent of the island has been opened to construction.
Yassıada is known for being the exile island of former Democrat Party leader and former Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and other party members following the 1960 military coup in Turkey. The trials of the party members were also held on the island. The tribunals ended with the execution of Menderes, Minister of Foreign Affairs Fatin Rüştü Zorlu and Minister of Finance Hasan Polatkan on İmralı island on Sept. 16, 1961.
In a visit to Yassıada on 2011, Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu and then Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertuğrul Günay announced that a “democracy museum” would be built on the island, but did not mention hotels or restaurants.
The island was listed as “under protection” as a historical and natural area in 1976. With a change in 2011, the island’s rights were handed over from the Treasury to the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Another change in 2012 saw the island’s status opened to “controlled use.”