‘Urban regeneration’ leaves citizens homeless, says CHP deputy

‘Urban regeneration’ leaves citizens homeless, says CHP deputy

Emine Kart - ANKARA
‘Urban regeneration’ leaves citizens homeless, says CHP deputy A senior member of Turkey’s main opposition party has questioned the prime minister over the consequences of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s ongoing “urban regeneration” process, which he described as leaving citizens “virtually homeless” and a “rising opportunity for unearned income.”

In a parliamentary question presented to the office of Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman on July 7, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu recalled that some places inside the Fetihtepe, Kaptanpaşa, Keçecipiri, Piripaşa, Piyalepaşa and Kulaksız neighborhoods in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district had been declared “risk zones” by a cabinet decision which went into force after being published in the Official Gazette. 

The decision, which was made earlier by the Beyoğlu Municipal Council, had been taken to court by locals and civil society organizations and the decision was annulled, Tanrıkulu recalled.

“Concerns have been prevailing that the opportunity for unearned income will occur in the related neighborhoods,” he said in his question, which was addressed to Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

“What kinds of measures will the AKP government take in this process - the process of ‘urban regeneration’ via having ‘risk zones declared - along which our citizens have been virtually left homeless and the opportunity for unearned income has been on the rise?” Tanrıkulu asked Yıldırım.

Back in April, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said up to 6 million houses should be demolished and rebuilt in Turkey within the framework of “urban regeneration,” adding that the process was a necessary precaution against natural disasters. 

“Some 179 areas in 48 districts have been declared risk zones and taken within the scope of urban transformation. Additionally, 3,778 hectares in 21 districts have been determined as a reserve construction areas,” Erdoğan said during a speech at the Urban Transformation Congress in Istanbul on April 11.

At the time, the president said the aim was not to demolish houses but give “citizens safe homes.”