Sales of deforested land to bring in 4.8 billion liras

Sales of deforested land to bring in 4.8 billion liras

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Sales of deforested land to bring in 4.8 billion liras

This file photo shows a plot of land in Istanbul’s Beykoz neighborhood on the Anatolian side. The sale of 2-B lands is a way in which the government is planning to curb unplanned urbanization and to legalize construction and solve ownership disputes. Hürriyet photo

The government is expected to raise an estimated 4.8 billion Turkish Liras in 2013 from the sale of 2-B lands, a category officially including deforested lands repurposed by individuals, companies, villages or towns, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has said.

“This is the half of the total revenue [the government expects to see from 2-B land sales]. The total
estimated revenue is 9.8 billion liras,” Şimşek said at a press conference on Oct. 12.

Nearly two thirds of the total 450,000 existing 2-B land users have filed applications to obtain deeds to the land, he said, but added that no revenue from 2-B land sales was included in this year’s budget.

300,000 applications
The land registry information for some 460,000 properties in 54 provinces has been updated as part of the 2B land sale process, Şimşek said, adding that nearly 560,000 citizens use this land.

“Among these users, some have a 6-month period in which to file deed applications and others have 8 months. Of the 450,000 users who are required to lodge an application by Oct. 30, when the 6-month application period ends, nearly 300,000 have applied. The ratio of land users who applied [to obtain deeds for the land they use] is 67 percent. The remaining 150,000 users should apply as soon as possible so as not to lose the right to use the land,” he said. After the applicable deadline passes, 2-B land users will lose the right to purchase the land they use and will be obliged to pay for the use of the land.

Some 85 percent of applications for 2-B land titles have come from 14 provinces, including Istanbul; the southern provinces of Antalya, Adana and Mersin; the western provinces of Muğla, İzmir and Afyonkarahisar; Ankara; the northwestern provinces of Kocaeli, Balıkesir, Sakarya and Bursa; and the northern provinces of Samsun and Zonguldak, Şimşek said.

Combating unplanned urbanization

The number of applications is relatively low in those provinces that are largely rural and have high rates of emigration, Şimşek said, as users of 2-B land in such areas may have abandoned using it. The ministry is working to ease the application process, however, by going to villages to accept applications on site, he said.

Solving the 2-B land problem will contribute to preventing unplanned urbanization, Şimşek said.
The land officially categorized as 2-B land includes some 4.1 billion square meters of deforested land, which is deemed impossible to reforest, as Şimşek had said previously. Another purpose of the 2-B land sales law is to legalize construction and solve ownership disputes between citizens and the state by granting land users titles to such land.