TODAY’S – Court overrules construction in national parks, sets new precedent

Court overrules construction in national parks, sets new precedentA recent amendment into the regulation on national parks made by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in March that allowed construction in national and natural parks has been annulled by the Council of State, a development which may set an example for other efforts that lead to the destruction of green spaces and natural beauty in the country for various reasons.The 6th Chamber of the Council of State stopped the execution of the regulation related to national parks on Saturday and ruled that the amendment was contrary to the law.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry made an addition to the regulation on national parks in March paving the way for construction on 40 national parks in Turkey, as long as the project increased the supply of drinking water or assisted with other public needs. Prior to the amendment, construction without a long-term plan was not allowed however, the amendment said, andldquoA long-term plan is not required for facilities that are indispensable to answering the urgent need for an improved water supply and other needs of public interest.

After obtaining the opinion of these institutions [concerned with public needs], the project can proceed.and#39and#39The Chamber of Forest Engineers, part of the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architectsand#39 Chambers.

(TMMOB) appealed the addition in court immediately after the ministryand#39s moveSince then, the amendment has received substantial criticism, particularly since hydroelectric power plants (HES) inside national parks, already a source of harsh criticism of the government, have fallen within the framework of this revised version of the regulation. It has also being argued for a long time that the amendment might accelerate the construction frenzy in the country that is damaging Turkeyand#39s natural and cultural heritage.

The latest decision of the Council of State, if enforced, could prevent further attempts that may seek ways to undertake construction projects in forests and damage the green areas and natural beauty in the country.Issuing a statement on the chamberand#39s website, the Chamber of Forest Engineers labeled the decision a judicial victory.

andldquoThe chamber will continue initiatives to protect the forests of the country,andrdquo the same statement said.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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