If Murat Kurum wins, who actually wins?

05 Mart 2024 Salı

Following the presidential election, President Erdoğan set his sights on winning the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in a speech to party members.

During Murat Kurum's tenure as minister, I examined a series of projects and expenditures.

You might find some surprises. Kurum had announced that "building registration certificates" were issued to 7 million independent units benefiting from the amnesty, 5 million 848 thousand of which were residential properties.

However, Kurum refers to this law not as "zoning amnesty" but as "zoning peace," defending it as a regulation made for citizens to access electricity, water, and natural gas.

Yet, zoning amnesty or peace means issuing documents contrary to licensing. What does non-compliant construction mean? Buildings that are not by regulations or not built according to construction permits are considered non-compliant by municipalities or governorships. Essentially, these are unauthorized constructions...


CHP İzmir Deputy Kamil Okyay Sındır asked Kurum, the then Minister of Environment and Urban Planning, about the number of building registration certificates issued in Elazığ and Malatya after the zoning peace. The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning reported that a total of 22,329 building registration certificates were issued in Malatya. During the 2019 local elections, the President announced, "We solved the problems of 144,566 in Kahramanmaraş and 205,000 in Hatay with the zoning peace." It was revealed that a total of 294,000 unauthorized constructions in 10 provinces hit by the February 6 earthquake, including 56,464 in Hatay and 39,058 in Kahramanmaraş, were pardoned. Citizens essentially confessed and reported their illegal constructions. Without the issuance of building registration certificates, these buildings could have been controlled.

53,537 citizens lost their lives.

Whose term did this law pass under, who boasted about it? Murat Kurum...

Experts and patriots screamed about the Ilısu Mine being a poison emitter: "The mine is spreading poison." They didn't listen. Chemical waste mountains mixed into streams. Nine workers trapped in a collapse are still missing. Who didn't listen? The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning! Who was the minister? Murat Kurum.

In Çorum, Manisa, and Istanbul, citizens are crying out because of houses not delivered by TOKI for years. Former CHP Mersin Deputy Alpay Antmen asked about the number of lawsuits filed against TOKI in a written question, to which Kurum responded. He disclosed that between 2002 and 2019, 47,424 lawsuits were filed against TOKI, with 25,968 resulting in favor against the TOKI Presidency, costing 167 million 730 thousand TL in compensation.

One of the best actions taken by İmamoğlu after taking office was to cut off cash aids and reclaim properties allocated to foundations and associations organized in the name of religious communities, orders, and political structures.

While students faced accommodation issues, dormitory buildings and properties were allocated to religious foundations and associations, and even their renovations were done.

Foundations and associations belonging to sects and communities, which did not receive public property allocations from the municipality under İmamoğlu, managed to get allocations from another institution: The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning! The minister at that time was also Murat Kurum.

Looking at 2023, a property of 14,305 square meters belonging to the Treasury was given for free for 49 years to the İlim Yayma Association in Başakşehir by the ministry. Similarly, a plot of 17,900 square meters belonging to the Treasury in Arnavutköy was allocated for free for 49 years to the Hayrat International Student Association.

In Bakırköy Şenlikköy, a student dormitory of 925 square meters on a property of 8,419 square meters and a cultural center of 625 square meters were allocated for free for 49 years to the Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA). And Yassıada, with a 5-star hotel of 324 beds on 114,000 square meters, was rented out for 360,000 TL a month. I emphasize, monthly!

The Fikirtepe project, started as urban regeneration, turned into a "profit hill." Under the guise of urban regeneration, 2-3 story houses were demolished; 15-20-30 story, aesthetically lacking, cramped buildings were erected.

Should you win Istanbul, will you continue to "allocate," I apologize, hand over the public's property to these foundations and associations?

Will you continue with the urban transformation that makes Istanbul even more suffocating under the guise of urban regeneration?

It is clear that if Murat Kurum wins, it will be a loss for the people of Istanbul and a gain for those chasing profit, sects, and builders.

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