Turkey's Environment and Urbanization Ministry has approved Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality's sea-filling project despite the northwestern province is considered to be located in a high-risk seismic zone, according to reporting by daily Birgün on Feb. 17.
The ministry on Feb. 17 decided that there is no need to conduct Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project in question, paving way for its implementation.
Environmental impact assessment reports are official evaluations of a construction project's prospective environmental impact, although the document is often neglected, manipulated, or bypassed entirely for financial gain.
Accordingly, the municipality, run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), plans to fill three separate areas of the Dilovası coastline of the Marmara Sea to build a festival area.
The municipality will spend 501 million liras just to fill the sea on a total area of 346,000 square meters.
Kocaeli was one of the provinces hugely affected by the major earthquakes of 1999 that occurred in the Marmara region. Experts say it is one of the areas that will be shook by the expected big Istanbul earthquake.