Leading Istanbul chambers appeal against transfer of historic sanatorium to top religious body

Istanbul's leading professional chambers, including the Istanbul Bar Association, appealed the transfer of Heybeliada Island's historic sanatorium to the Directorate General of Religious Affairs on Oct. 6. The appeal was based on the grounds that the use of the property by the Diyanet would compromise the multi-cultural, social and natural heritage of the site.

Duvar English

Istanbul's leading professional chambers appealed against a ruling to transfer ownership of Turkey's first sanatorium on Heybeliada Island to the Directorate General of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) in a motion dated Oct. 6.

Turkey’s first pandemic hospital transferred to Diyanet to be used as Islamic education centerTurkey’s first pandemic hospital transferred to Diyanet to be used as Islamic education center

"The decision is contradictory to the Heybeliada Sanatorium's social and cultural heritage, and is at odds with the island population's wishes, needs and expectations," said the appeal.

Filed by the Istanbul chamber of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects Chambers (TMMOB), TMMOB's Urban Planning Chamber, the Istanbul Chamber of Physicians and the Istanbul Bar Association, the appeal noted that the size of the sanatorium's property is almost one tenth of the island's surface area.

"Deciding the purpose of this land in a closed process is an illegal interference in Heybeliada's social, cultural and economic life," the appeal read.

Noting that the sanatorium served as a meeting point for people from all walks of life, the appeal said that the property helped preserve not only the multi-cultural configuration, but also protected the natural resources in the area.

"The health benefits of the property served to protect the forest, Pine Port Bay, and the surrounding greenery from construction, and helped maintained it as a picnic area, beach and public space that islanders can enjoy."

The Heybeliada Sanatorium overlooks Pine Port Bay, seen top right.