Urban transformation indispensable, says Bayraktar

Urban transformation indispensable, says Bayraktar

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Urban transformation indispensable, says Bayraktar

Minister Bayraktar (R) is seen with Enis Berberoğlu, editor-in-chief of Hürriyet, during a meeting at the Hürriyet headquarters. Urban transformation will take long time, he says. DHA photo

Turkey should continue faster with urban transformation in regions where there is risk of environmental disaster, the Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar said yesterday during a meeting at Hürriyet Medya Towers.

“[Urban transformation] cannot be achieved from today to tomorrow. You would not believe it if we said we could do it in three or five years. We have to do it urgently in short periods, while also planning for long periods. We should clear all illegal, nonresistant structures in terms of two, five, seven, 10, 15 and 20 year terms. This is indispensable for Turkey. We have no patience left,” he said.
Turkey is where Japan was 40 years ago [in terms of earthquake casualties and destruction], Bayraktar said, also adding that Turkey was where Spain and South Korea was 35 or 40 years ago in terms of urban transformation.

“About 55 percent of the world’s population lives in cities. This rate is heading toward 80 percent in Turkey ... There are nearly 20 million dwellings in [Turkish] cities and towns,” he said.

About five million new homes have been built in the last nine years alone, which is an urban transformation in itself, said Bayraktar. A draft law regarding urban transformation is currently being discussed in Parliament and life safety principles and the rights of householders are at the core of this draft, he added.

“After the enactment of the law, the construction industry in Turkey will develop further. The current account deficit will narrow, and all the materials that will be used in the constructions will be domestically made. The quality of domestic production will therefore rise. Most importantly, the system [bringing together] architects, engineers and advisors will develop a lot,” he said.

Income per capita in Turkey is on its way to $15,000, he said, adding that Spain became successful in urban transformation when it surpassed $15,000 income per capita and received serious amount of funds whey they became a member of European Union.

Daily Hürriyet’s chief editor Enis Berberoğlu made the opening speech at the meeting, at which the paper’s new “Real Estate and Life” supplement was introduced.

Many prominent chairmen, general managers and industry representatives also attended the meeting, including Özcan Tahincioğlu, Ahmet Çelik, Ahmet Çetinsaya, Nazmi Durbakayım, Fikret İnan.