Ministry prevents Istanbul municipality from demolishing illegal cafes on Üsküdar coast

The Turkish Urbanization Ministry has prevented the opposition-run Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) from demolishing illegal cafes on the Üsküdar coast by legalizing them with a hasty change in the city development plan.

Duvar English

A city development plan prepared by the Urbanization Ministry has approved illegal structures containing cafes on Istanbul’s Üsküdar coast, preventing the opposition-run Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) from demolishing them.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu announced the government’s move on his Twitter account and shared a photo of the two illegal structures that were protected by the Urbanization Ministry and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)-run Üsküdar municipality.

“We have one by one removed the invasions on Üsküdar coast, until the ministry embraced the illegal structures. These two invasions (circled in red in the photo) have been provided special protection with a plan change undertaken hastily by Üsküdar Municipality and Environment and Urbanization Ministry. Our country will get rid of the mindset that protects invasion on May 14 (elections),” İmamoğlu tweeted.

İBB Deputy Secretary General Dr. Buğra Gökçe said that these two illegal structures were granted construction amnesty by the government but that they pose "a risk for life at the time of a disaster.” Gökçe tweeted that the İBB had launched a judiciary process against the ministry’s move.