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. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  2. A Seoul Metro employee, second left, monitors passengers, to ensure face masks are worn, on a platform inside a subway station in Seoul, South Korea.
    Transportation

    How to Safely Travel on Mass Transit During Coronavirus

    To stay protected from Covid-19 on buses, trains and planes, experts say to focus more on distance from fellow passengers than air ventilation or surfaces.

  3. Equity

    The Problem With Research on Racial Bias and Police Shootings

    Despite new research on police brutality, we still have no idea whether violence toward African Americans is fueled by racial prejudice. That has consequences.

  4. Maps

    Your Maps of Life Under Lockdown

    Stressful commutes, unexpected routines, and emergent wildlife appear in your homemade maps of life during the coronavirus pandemic.

  5. A map of Minneapolis from the late 19th century.
    Maps

    When Minneapolis Segregated

    In the early 1900s, racial housing covenants in the Minnesota city blocked home sales to minorities, establishing patterns of inequality that persist today.

×