A proposal to save Istanbul

A proposal to save Istanbul

The irresistible charm of rent has steadily increased the amount of land in Istanbul zoned for housing, construction and the human population.

If necessary precautions are not taken quickly, the existing forest assets will never be enough for a healthy life. The risk of natural disasters stemming from pollution, droughts and floods will only increase.

Rapidly advancing urbanization and the city’s ever-rising population has massively increased pressure on the water basins and military fields that have up to now not been zoned for construction. But neither “landscaping plans” nor “development planning laws” can eliminate the relevant pressure.

For a more livable Istanbul, it is clear that restrictions on construction on water basins and military fields must be secured.

To achieve this, the relevant areas should be completely forested and registered with the necessary forest qualifications, regardless of the land’s ownership.

Such measures would almost amount to “revenge” on forest destruction, which has gone on for many years. The threatened forested grounds to the north of the city would be protected and a significant increase in the amount of active green areas per capita will be gained across the province. Expectations for rents from out-of-control construction will be ended, and the risk of disasters stemming from the destruction of the natural environment will decrease. 

In short, Istanbul would be saved.

What do you say?

Another wax museum in Turkey

Yet another wax gallery-museum in Istanbul’s Özdilek Park in the Levent area, constructed by the Özdilek Foundation, was opened on Sept. 22. 

Some 100 wax sculptures of famous figures from Turkey are being exhibited at the museum. These include a life-size sculpture of Atatürk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey, made by Eskişehir Mayor Yılmaz Büyükerşen, who started making wax sculptures during his time as rector of Eskişehir’s Anadolu University. 

Attending the opening ceremony were a number of people whose sculptures are included in the museum, which will be open every weekday between 10:00 a.m. and 09:00 p.m. 

Museum officials say the sculptures will periodically be updated and new ones will be brought in. 

Who benefitted from the CHP’s hazelnut rally?

Turkey is said to produce up to 70 percent of the world’s hazelnuts, and the issue of the price crisis in our hazelnut industry has created quite a bit of trouble for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

As a result, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) recently held a “Justice for hazelnut” march in the Black Sea province of Giresun, one of the centers of the sector. 

This was a smart step, trying to capitalize on a political opening. However, the party later made a strategic mistake, when the name of the march was changed to the “March for hazelnuts.” 

Still, trying to focus attention on such issues is a good idea for the CHP going forward.

“I agree with most of the points [CHP head Kemal] Kılıçdaroğlu made about hazelnuts,” one local hazelnut producer told me. 

“Our hazelnut trees have gotten old. We need to rejuvenate them. We need to plant trees while doing this and reward the great effort for it. We should bring in the appropriate incentive for the sector and avoid damaging the income of hazelnut producers,” he added.