Structures on Galatasaray islet in Istanbul’s Bosphorus demolished
ISTANBULA number of parts of buildings on the Galatasaray Islet in Istanbul’s Bosphorus were demolished early on May 28, after the rejection of an evacuation order by one of its tenants, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Crews from the Istanbul Municipality started demolition work at 5:00 a.m. on May 28, using construction equipment sent with a landing craft from the Heybeliada island.
The demolition came after Mehmet Koçarslan, the tenant of the Galatasaray Islet for many years, denied an evacuation order made by the Galatasaray General Assembly on the grounds that the buildings were not suitable for housing.
As a result, all buildings in parcels held by both Koçarslan and Galatasaray, which were built in 1980, were demolished.
Demolition work was suspended after two hours due to a technical fault, after which a new construction vehicle was sent to the islet.
People working at stores and restaurants on the islet at the tine brought their staff members outside after the demolition works started.
The islet, which was bought by Galatasaray Sports Club in 1957 before being turned into a site with a number of social facilities, has iconic importance for Galatasaray fans. Moreover, a parrot named “cimbom” which has become a symbol for Galatasaray fans, was also evacuated from the islet and has reportedly been taken to a shopping mall.
Officials said they planned to complete of demolition work on the islet before the end of the day.
Naval police took tight security measures during the operation, as crews from the Development Directorate of the Bosphorus also participated in the demolition work.
Koçarslan was also co-owner of Istanbul’s famous Reina nightclub, in which 39 people were killed in an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terror attack on Jan. 1.
The nightclub was also demolished on May 22.
In a statement, the Istanbul Municipality said some parts of the nightclub had been built against the law.