İdris Özyol / Duvar

The Turkish Culture and Tourism has cancelled a planned marina and boat yard project on a 3,000-decare land by the seaside in the southern province of Antalya’s Manavgat district, and instead has opened the land for the construction of four hotels.

The previous plan foresaw the construction of a marina and boat yard on the land and the designation of the area as an organized industrial zone (OSB).

After the ministry’s move to allocate the land for the use of golf tourism, 30 NGOs in the region formed “Manavgat Ulualan Protection Platform” and said that they will take the government’s move to the court.

Nezih Özgenç, the spokesperson of the platform, said that a 2-km section of the Kızılağaç beach will be completely under the use of the hotels and this goes against the interest of the locals.

“The Kızılağaç beach has been snatched from the people. The relevant area needs to be planned in a way that it is open to everyone’s use and can contribute to the city’s economic and trade life, in line with a joint common sense,” Özgenç said, emphasizing that decisions concerning the area should be consulted with local NGOs, instead of the government taking them unilaterally.

Recep Barut, the former mayor of Manavgat’s Evrenseki town from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), also slammed the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s move saying that it should backtrack on its decision.

“Four golf hotels must be clearly important for four people, but they are nothing in terms of their contribution to the Manavgat economy when compared with a marina and boat yard. What is important is projects which are for the benefit of the people. Is the purpose here really to build golf areas or hotels, under the cover of golf ranges? Also, golf areas and hotels do not need to be built on the same land,” Barut said.