Tender held for construction in natural park in Turkey’s Bolu cancelled, mayor says
Aysel Alp – BOLU
A tender held on Dec. 19 for construction projects in a natural park in the northwestern province of Bolu has been cancelled after protests over environmental concerns, Bolu Mayor Aladdin Yılmaz has said.
“We have made a decision. We are cancelling the tender regarding the Gölcük Natural Park. We are sorry that it has been cancelled,” Yılmaz told daily Hürriyet on Jan. 2.
The tender, which gave the winner Gölcük Natural Park’s operating license until 2040, was held in the Bolu Municipal Council Hall on Dec. 19.
Kurtuluş Tokcan, from the nearby province of Düzce, won the tender after offering to pay 116,000 Turkish Liras a month as rent to obtain the operating rights.
The Bolu Municipality was the previous leaseholder of the green space. The tender was held for the initial stage of a three-part construction project, which included building a three-kilometer-long aerial tramway, a one-kilometer-long mountain coaster, 25 bungalows and a 19-roomed mountain mansion.
But many environmentalists reacted to the Bolu Municipality’s decision to give out a 22-year lease to private owners on Dec. 19, prompting them to file a demand for the cancellation of the tender to the Presidency and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“I exclude the well-intentioned people; some provocateurs have turned this tender into a political matter. We were doing this not for money but for the future of Bolu. We were going to carry out this project without cutting down a single tree. But then came the ill-intentioned people, people who acted for the sake of it. This has made us really upset,” the mayor said regarding the cancellation of the project.
When asked if the Bolu Municipality had given up on the construction project, Yılmaz said: “Did I say such a thing?”