Court Approves Recreational Facility Around Lake Salda: ‘It is President’s Plan’

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  • November 29, 2019
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The court has rejected an application against the 'Nation's Garden' project in the area known as "the Maldives of Turkey," citing Erdogan's 100-Day Action Plan in its decision.

Ankara 16th Administrative Court has unanimously rejected an application against the construction of a "Nation's Garden" around Lake Salda in Burdur province.

Attorneys Tuncay Koc, Munip Ermis and Mustafa Sahin applied to the Isparta Administrative Court on July 30 in the name of five residents of Yesilova district in Burdur. The court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction and sent the case file to the Ankara 16th Administrative Court, which requested documents related to the tender for the facility project from the Ministry of Environment and Urbanism and the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI).

TOKI said in its defense statement that the tender that is the matter of dispute does not affect the legal interests of the plaintiffs. It also said that conservation development projects were prepared and an open tender was carried out in line with the plans. An environmental impact assessment (EIA) report is not required due to the "application of exception clauses", according to TOKI.

"It's in President's action plan"

The court decision cited President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's second 100-Day Action Plan that said a Nation's Garden will be built around Lake Salda and the Presidential Decree that declared Lake Salda and its surroundings a Special Environmental Protection Zone.

"It is not possible to examine the plaintiffs' allegations regarding the 'project' and 'EIA decision' in this case," the court said. It ruled that there are no irregularities regarding the tender proceedings.

'We will appeal the verdict'

The attorneys who filed the case said in a joint statement that they will appeal the decision.

"In summary, the court ruled that the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization can have such works done by TOKI, that there were no irregularities in the transactions carried out, and that the tender could be made before the finalization of the plan and without an EIA report."

The decision will be "pleasing for interest groups and those who want to exploit public places and natural resources," the lawyers said.

"It is clear that this decision, which is quite superficial and refers to the fact that the President has declared this area a Nation's Garden, considers the ministry as the last link of a command chain has no legal value," the lawyers further stated. "The Nation's Garden announced by the President has no legal basis and definition as a notion."

Source: English Bianet