Istanbul municipality demolishes cafes said to be unlicensed on Heybeliada, meets with fierce criticism

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) police teams on Sept. 24 demolished some restaurants and cafes on Heybeliada on the grounds that they were unlicensed. Café owners slammed the İBB's move saying that they had already paid an "occupancy fee" to the local management to use the lands in question.

Duvar English

Officials from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) on Sept. 24 demolished some restaurants and cafes located on Heybeliada, the second largest of the Prince Islands in the Marmara Sea near Istanbul, on the grounds that the structures were unlicensed.

The İBB's move met with fierce resistance from the restaurants and café owners as well as local residents.

“We had trusted in you; trusted in the local management. You have deceived us. We had paid our occupancy fee. The local management authorities had previously guaranteed that these [structures] would not be demolished. We have not even used our legal rights. But you came and started to demolish them,” a café owner told the municipal police.

Some locals also reacted against the İBB's decision, sitting at the tables of the cafes to prevent the demolition from taking place.

Despite the reactions, the İBB municipal police moved away the tables and umbrellas belonging to the cafes.