Ezgi Çapa / İstanbul, Oct 9 () - The Council of State Chief Prosecutor weighed in with the expert witnesses, with respect to proceedings for annulment of the construction plan for Istanbul Salıpazarı Port Area, known as “Galataport”.
The Chief Prosecutor defended, “the plan was not for the public welfare, as the privatization of the one-kilometer-long coastline would close the area to the public.”
The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) along with Chamber of City Planners and Chamber of Civil Engineers have filed a claim for the cancellation of the plan in 2012, claiming that the plans would not be adequately integrated into the Beyoğlu district. The Port Area has up to 1,200 meters of coastline and covers an area of approximately 100,000 square meters.
Within the pending action, the remarks of the Council of State Chief Public Prosecutor Halil Kamil Yüksel were also included in the case file, as the Prosecution referred to the report issued by the expert witnesses on April 3, 2015, declared “the plan was not for the public wealth.”
Leading universities have issued expert report
From Yıldız Technical University Department of Urban and Regional Planning Professor İclal Dinçer and Zeynep Enlil, along with Professor Şevket Çokgör from Istanbul Technical University have prepared a 94-page-long expert report stating the project was against city planning principles and did not comply with the public welfare. The expert report also have identified “ambiguous statements” within the project plan notes.
The statement of Council of State Public Prosecution Office underlined the plans should have been with a clear approach, “leaving no room for doubt” and urged, “The plan in dispute had uncertain targets and the description of plan included controversial notes which raised questions about its implications.”
A Doğuş Holding privatization project
Doğuş Holding has placed the highest offer for the privatization of the Galataport with a 702 million dollar bid in May 2013, winning the rights to operate the port area in Istanbul’s Karaköy neighborhood for 30 years.
Following the announcement, The TMMOB has urged new malls, offices and other buildings were planned to be built in the Galataport area, which would not be able to carry the necessary human and vehicular traffic.
However, the court has rejected the TMMOB’s complaints in September 2013, saying the TMMOB had not expressed any reservations about the construction of a larger cruise port in the area.