TODAY’S – ‘Iconic Ankara neighborhood to be transferred to ErdoIan’s TuRGEV for free’

‘Iconic Ankara neighborhood to be transferred to ErdoIan’s TuRGEV for free’ Ownership of Ankaraand#39s SaraoIlu neighborhood, which was built in the 1940s as part of Turkeyand#39s first public housing project, has been transferred to the Foundation of Youth and Education in Turkey (TuRGEV), of which President Recep Tayyip ErdoIanand#39s son Bilal ErdoIan is an executive board member, according to the Ankara branch of the Chamber of Architects.SaraoIlu — featuring residences, a library, parks and other social amenities — was officially given to the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI) and the Privatization Administration (IB) in order to enable them to redevelop the neighborhood in August of last year However, Tezcan KarakuI Candan, the chairwoman of the Chamber of Architects, Ankara office, claimed in a press statement on Thursday that the neighborhood was transferred to TuRGEV.

andldquoThe cases we filed [against the seizure of SaraoIlu by TOKI and IB] will continue. We have never given the impression that we would give up on our fight against wrongdoings.

Now we were informed that SaraoIlu was given to TuRGEV. If there is wrongdoing, the Chamber of Architects says no to this wrongdoing.

We will continue to fight for the common good,andrdquo Candan told the press.Vedat Gurgen, the head of the infrastructure and urban design chamber of the Ministry of the Environment and Urban Planning, had previously said in a press conference in Istanbul that SaraoIlu was one of the most valuable pieces of land in Turkey.

andquotIf someday someone, even me, destroys this place by building a shopping mall or hotel, bury me in the soil of this beautiful place,andrdquo SaraoIlu said.When asked about Gurgenand#39s recent comments, Candan said that she did not find Gurgen unrealistic as the ministry has not kept any promises regarding the urban transformation projects so far andldquoThe bureaucrat [Gurgen] does not have to be buried in SaraoIlu.

It would be enough if they keep the promises they make,andrdquo Candan said.Candan previously criticized the decision to give SaraoIlu to TOKI and IB to redevelop it saying that once the authorities became aware of the profit potential in the area, they pushed for its transferandldquoFor a decision regarding such an important area in the capital city to be made behind closed doors is antithetical to democracy.

This area belongs to all of us. Such a project cannot be carried out at the behest of only a few.

The future of SaraoIlu is now at risk due to such thinking. If TOKI and the IB build a project there, it will be a shame.

The ministries must not operate behind closed doors. They should conduct their affairs in a transparent manner,andrdquo said Candan in a written statement following the decision in August of last year.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman