In Turkey / Türkiye

Hurriyet Daily News, April 11, 2016

Urban damage in southeast of Turkey caused by Turkish military attacks (AFP)

Urban damage in southeast of Turkey caused by Turkish military attacks (AFP)

The Turkish government has made “an urgent expropriation” decision concerning properties in four southeastern provinces. The cabinet’s approval of the related Interior Ministry decision went into force after being published in the Official Gazette on April 11.

Accordingly, the government has decided to “urgently expropriate” properties in multiple districts of southeastern provinces, including the Bağlar and Kayapınar districts of Diyarbakır province, the Çukurca and Yüksekova districts of Hakkari province, the Kızıltepe district of Mardin province and the Cizre and İdil districts of Şırnak province, in order to build “police security points”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also revealed plans on the future of Yüksekova and Cizre during his speech at the Urban Transformation Congress in Istanbul on April 11, saying both districts should gain “city” status.

Turkey’s war against the Kurdish population: ANF News reports daily on Turkey’s bloody war against people and infrastructure in the country’s southeast.

“Topographically speaking, Hakkari is not fit to be a province. It is impossible to understand how they declared it a city. Whereas Yüksekova is a beautiful place whose topography is suitable to become a city,” Erdoğan said, reminding the audience of his proposition to replace Hakkari province with Yüksekova.

“We have a division there, we also built an airport. That area also has very intense smuggling activities. Yüksekova [becoming a city] will be a very good decision to both prevent such [illegal] activities and build a peaceful city,” he said, adding this decision was widely accepted among ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers as well.

The president also touched upon Cizre, “a city by its history,” and said it should be recognized as a city “by right.”

“This was Cizre’s right, it was taken from it. We need to return this right and make Cizre a city again.”

Turkey’s southeast has been gripped by violence since July 2015, with security forces battling militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its youth wing, known as the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), in densely populated urban centers.

The recent fighting has marked the deadliest period in at least two decades of the conflict, with continued reports of killed and injured security officials and PKK militants…

Six million houses should be demolished in Turkey, says Erdoğan

Hurriyet Daily News, April 11, 2016

Up to six million houses should be demolished and rebuilt in Turkey within the framework of “urban transformation,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, claiming that the process is a necessary precaution against natural disasters.

“Some 179 areas in 48 districts have been declared risky zones and taken within the scope of urban transformation. Additionally, 37,782 decares in 21 districts have been determined as a reserve construction area,” Erdoğan said in a speech at the Urban Transformation Congress in Istanbul on April 11.

The president denied that the aim is to make money for construction companies who win lucrative rebuilding contracts, but on the contrary to give “citizens safe homes.”

Criticizing the Istanbul Chamber of Architects, which is highly critical of urban transformation projects, Erdoğan questioned whether the chamber’s job is “to build or demolish.”

“While we are working to build, others just want to demolish. This chamber should work on plans and projects. Whenever you take a step on urban transformation, they take it to court. These cases don’t get any results for them but they make us lose time,” he said.

Erdoğan pointed to Istanbul’s Esenler district as a flagship site of urban transformation.

“I’d like to give good news to the people of Istanbul, especially people living in Esenler. We started digging in the Esenler Havaalanı neighborhood on Sept. 5, 2012 for urban transformation. This work has now finished and the keys will be delivered to the beneficiaries of new homes next month. Some 2,373 houses and 55 business spaces have been built in this area,” he said.

Erdoğan also mentioned the controversial “Kanal Istanbul” project, which foresees the building of a new canal on Istanbul’s European side to supplement the Bosphorus Strait, vowing that the project will definitely go ahead “regardless of what anyone says.”

“Kanal Istanbul should make a difference through new buildings, befitting Istanbul’s fame, around the canal,” he said, adding that that he had “told his friends” that high-rise architecture should not be allowed on aesthetic grounds.

“The need for high-rise buildings could be accepted in the past, when there was both an excessive demand for central districts and not enough improved land. But it is now time to move to horizontal rather than vertical structuring,” Erdoğan said.

Kanal Istanbul was among the “crazy projects” that then-Prime Minister Erdoğan promised to realize ahead of the 2011 general election, pledging to build a 43-kilometer-long, 400-meter-wide canal connected with six bridges.

At the time he also said that 500,000 people would live in the area around the canal upon completion.

Read also:
Erdogan’s plan for the Kurds: Destroy, rebuild, pacify, by Rosa Burç, Telesur, March 3, 2016

The Turkish government has a post-war plan to offer Kurds high-end housing in exchange for civil obedience.

 

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