Duvar English

An Istanbul court has rejected the metropolitan municipality’s request for the cancellation of a concession tender held for unused warehouses at the landmark Haydarpaşa and Sirkeci train stations.

The Istanbul 11th Administrative Court announced its decision on April 3 amid the country’s struggle against the novel coronavirus.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu notified the residents of the court’s decision on Twitter.

“The court rejected our objection to the tender for Haydarpaşa and Sirkeci stations. On behalf of Istanbulites, we will continue to preserve the city’s historical, cultural and natural assets, and we will take the decision to the Council of State. It is very meaningful to announce this decision, which has been put on hold for months now, at the time of the epidemic,” İmamoğlu wrote.

The railways authority TCDD in October held a tender to lease the currently idle warehouses of Haydarpaşa and Sirkeci train stations. The tender was held in two rounds.

At the first round of negotiations on Oct. 4, 2019, four companies placed their bids, including a consortium made up of Istanbul Municipality’s subsidiaries.

Afterwards, only two companies were left to the second round of negotiations: Hezarfen Consultancy Company and Istanbul Municipality’s consortium. However, the tender commission did not invite the municipality to the second round, disqualifying it from the tender, as a result of which Hezarfen Consultancy Company won.

Hezarfen is owned by Hüseyin Avni Önder, a former employee of the municipality and former chair of the Archers’ Foundation or Okçular Vakfı, which has close ties with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family.

“The rationale is funny. Elimination is unlawful. We will take the matter to court and make a criminal complaint,” İmamoglu had said, following the tender commission’s decision.