Turkey to rebuild 26,000 homes destroyed in southeast
Thousands of homes damaged during clashes between the security forces and militants in Turkey’s southeast will be rebuilt over the next six months, Environment and Urbanization Minister Mehmet Özhaseki said on Nov. 9.
Özhaseki told the state-run Anadolu Agency that 26,000 heavily damaged properties would be rebuilt from scratch.
He said a total of 70,000 homes had been damaged during counter-terrorism operations launched after peace talks between the government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) collapsed in the summer of 2015.
“We have to rebuild and give out 26,000 new houses to our terror-affected citizens,” Özhaseki said.
“We are going to complete this process in six months. There is no problem about that,” he added.
“One of the state’s hands is the hand of strength. The state strikes bad, anarchist people with its powerful hand. The other hand is the hand of compassion. This hand binds wounds. We heal victimized people’s wounds,” Özhaseki added.
The minister also vowed that military compounds currently located within urban areas will be moved further out of cities and towns.
“Military compounds, 50 or 60 years ago, were places for the army’s use. But cities have massively grown to a point where they swallow those compounds,” he said.
In the past, attacks by the PKK on military bases have resulted in civilian casualties and many believe that moving such bases away from residential and business areas would reduce this risk.
Özhaseki said abandoned inner-city military camps would be turned into parks and recreational facilities, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has given “strict orders on this.”
Meanwhile, work on new regulations for parking spaces for residential apartment buildings has reached its final stage and the government has taken advice from municipalities and architects’ chambers on the issue, he added.
“This regulation has reached its final stage. We have made some principle decisions and we will send them to the Prime Ministry within 10 to 15 days,” he said.
According to the current regulation, there should be one parking space for every three flats in new residential areas. The new regulation will increase parking lot capacity and it will be compulsory for all apartment buildings to have at least one parking space for each flat in the building.
In addition, parking lot areas will be enlarged to at least 40 square meters per flat.