Reuters

Turkey will open formerly protected land (much of it already illegally developed) to builders.

In Turkey, the government will open 4.1 million acres of formerly protected land for purchase, a move that could bring in as much as $15 billion. Bidding began today. Much of the land in question is on the outskirts of major coastal cities like Istanbul and Antalya. And a lot of it is already occupied with buildings, housing, even graveyards.

The decision aims to stem illegal development (and, not inconsequentially, to tax builders and squatters). According to Today's Zaman, an English-language daily based in Istanbul:

This is a longstanding problem that led to unhealthy urbanization due to the ignorance of state authorities. Under the new law, 2B land eligible for construction -- land that has not been built upon yet -- will be allocated to mass housing, while 2B land that is already used by individuals will be sold to the current users for 70 percent of the land's current value. Ninety percent of such land is located in Turkey's coastal provinces, including İstanbul, Muğla, Antalya and Mersin. Balıkesir and Adapazarı are also on the list.

Not everyone is so thrilled. According to Green Prophet, Turkey’s Union of Engineers and Architects held a press conference decrying the proposed regulation. They told reporters the move would "open the country to loot and plunder," overdeveloping natural spaces and legitimizing the deportation of people from their settlements.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Perspective

    Why Car-Free Streets Will Soon Be the Norm

    In cities like New York, Paris, Rotterdam, and soon San Francisco, car-free streets are emerging amid a growing movement.

  2. Transportation

    How Media Coverage of Car Crashes Downplays the Role of Drivers

    Safety advocates have long complained that media outlets tend to blame pedestrians and cyclists who are hit by cars. Research suggests they’re right.

  3. photo: an Uber driver.
    Perspective

    Did Uber Just Enable Discrimination by Destination?

    In California, the ride-hailing company is changing a policy used as a safeguard against driver discrimination against low-income and minority riders.

  4. photo: a Tower Records Japan Inc. store in Tokyo, Japan.
    Life

    The Bankrupt American Brands Still Thriving in Japan

    Cultural cachet, licensing deals, and density explain why Toys ‘R’ Us, Tower Records, Barneys, and other faded U.S. retailers remain big across the Pacific.

  5. photo: a commuter looks at a small map of the London Tube in 2009
    Maps

    Help! The London Tube Map Is Out of Control.

    It’s never been easy to design a map of the city’s underground transit network. But soon, critics say, legibility concerns will demand a new look.

×