Protest held to save ancient city of Phaselis

Protest held to save ancient city of Phaselis

ANTALYA - Dogan News Agency
Protest held to save ancient city of Phaselis

People gathered in the Phaselis Cove upon calls through social media and protested the hotel project. DHA photo

Nearly 2,000 people held a protest Feb. 23 against a five-star hotel construction project within the borders of the ancient city of Phaselis in the southern province of Antalya’s Kemer district.

People from Antalya and neighboring cities came together in the Phaselis Cove upon calls made through social media. Carrying banners with slogans such as “Phaselis is ours,” “we won’t give Phaselis,” the protesters shouted slogans, saying “Resist Phaselis” and “Do not touch Phaselis.”  While some protesters went swimming during the protest, some sunbathed on the coast. Members of the Kemer Sail Club anchored at the cove in support of the protest.

Making a press statement on behalf of the organization committee, Tuna Şahin said everyone gathered to say “no” to hotel construction in Phaselis, stating they did not want construction in any of the coves.

“Phaselis is a world heritage site that we should protect. This is why we are here. If we don’t protect this unique value, the next will be the Alacasu, Maden and Sazak coves. We won’t allow even one square meter of land to be marketed illegally behind closed doors,” Şahin said.

Mayor supported the protest

Antalya Metropolitan Mayor Mustafa Akaydın, who also joined the protest, said Phaselis was one of the most beautiful parts of Antalya.

“We are never against projects that make economic contributions to the public, but [they should be completed] without destroying nature and spoiling the historic antiques. This shame has been going on in Turkey for the last 12 years, just like in Taksim’s Gezi Park. I have seen such a crowd for the first time and I am very happy to be part of it. People protect natural and cultural beauties and nobody can break this resistance. The same risk exists for the Konyaaltı beach; there is a shopping mall construction project. I believe the people will show their conscious reaction to this project, too,” the mayor said.