3. Bridge Circular: 'Project Istanbul's Suicide'

In order to complete the North Marmara Motorway Project on time, prepared by Erdogan's signature, “3. bridge circular ”was published. On behalf of the Social Assembly, we talked to Erhan Emir of Boğaziçi University about the project and what the circular meant. "It has been announced with a circular that an area of ​​attraction will be created for companies," Emir said.
The 3rd Bridge Circular was published for the rapid completion of the "Northern Marmara Highway Project" with the signature of Prime Minister Erdoğan. In the articles in the circular containing the instruction to complete the project within the given time, the public institutions and organizations were asked to prepare the necessary approvals and not to prevent the natural and cultural assets to emerge during the studies.
According to the 3rd Bridge circular called the “Northern Marmara Highway Project”, some moves will be made to avoid delays in the works. We interviewed Erhan Emir, Boğaziçi University Civil Engineering Transport USA Research Assistant on behalf of the Communal Assembly Transport Commission on what the circular means and what the project serves.
While Emir stated that the followers of the cultural values ​​that could be lost in these projects are no longer the state, he also interpreted the aim of the city's growth towards the north as “suicide of Istanbul”.
soL: First of all, 3. What does the Bridge Circular mean?
During the AKP period, transportation projects, whether we like it or not, is the biggest propaganda issue. This is a sector that makes up about 15% of public investments. Much has been discussed, the Black Sea Coastal Road, the metrobus in Istanbul, the Izmir-Istanbul Motorway and finally the North Marmara Motorway come to mind first. Each of these is billions of dollars of work, with huge profits. As it is known, Northern Marmara Highway, which also includes the 3rd Bridge, passes through state-owned forests and lands as a route to reduce expropriation costs. A project prepared by ignoring the accepted zoning plans of Istanbul. Even with this measure, its total cost is calculated as 6 billion dollars and this amount is said to increase. This circular can be explained by the government's desire to take care of all kinds of business quickly in order not to experience a process similar to the snake story with the expropriation of the expropriations in the Marmaray project.
soL: Why has such a circular been published? Why is the effort for the completion of the project within the specified period?
The tender for this project was made through the build-operate-transfer method. The company that won the tender bid and won nearly 10 years for the construction and operation period. The Ministry of Transport and Maritime wants the highway to be opened in 2015, at the same time the elections will be held. The firms that received the tender will want to profit from this project, which is one of the dominant projects in the privatization of highways, as soon as possible. No company applied to the Ministry's first call for tender. Later, the ministry guaranteed the traffic load to use the motorway and many companies that found it profitable entered the tender. If we look at this point, it will be revealed that this project is not in the public interest. This highway will not be able to withdraw the current traffic load of Istanbul. Transit passages correspond to the visible part of the iceberg. The aim is to quickly transform state lands into lands, increase the interest of the housing sector on the project route and open new rent areas. In line with this purpose, it is announced with a circular that any rough heading will not be allowed and will become an area of ​​attraction for companies. The segment where the circular sounds and gives confidence is mainly the private sector. The joy of the real estate product after this circular shows this.
soL: In order to complete the project, it is required to accelerate the necessary changes to the development plan, preparation of survey reports, infrastructure arrangements, and allocation of real estates and forests. What does it mean?
The project is not even envisaged even in Istanbul's zoning plan adopted in 2009. Anyway, such a project should not be included in a logical development plan. There are lawsuits filed against the project by TMMOB and CHP to Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and in these cases, expert reports prepared by ITU instructors indicate that the project does not comply with planning techniques, urbanism principles, public interest and zoning legislation. A third Bosphorus crossing and highway plan is definitely rejected in the Istanbul Environmental Plan due to the damages it will cause to Istanbul. However, the approach that the prime minister expressed in such cases with the words "they are already against every job" causes the profession chambers and academicians to serve the public. Zoning and landscaping plans must definitely be changed for the implementation of the project. The Prime Ministry circular eliminates this problem without even having to wait for the maximum time required for the change of these plans.
soL: In the same way, the expropriations to be made on the route and the value determination of the immovables are also required to be hurried. How will housing affected by urban transformation in the region be affected?
AKP has an understanding of urbanism and within this understanding, every place that does not bring profit and does not turn into a rent gate is considered compulsory to undergo transformation. In motorway projects, expropriation is the subject that binds the ministry most. Although passing the project route through state lands helps in this regard, shortening the time to make the necessary expropriations is one of the most emphasized topics in the circular. Because the expropriations attached to the litigation processes may cause the project to be terminated too late and this is undesirable. Regarding urban transformation, opening the project route to the housing sector and creating a space for urban transformation in a city where lands such as Istanbul are very valuable are elements that can be read in the subtext.
soL: It was also stated in the circular that if the nature and cultural assets that Erdogan defined as "pottery" are encountered during the study, the project will not cause any delay. How do you evaluate this move that prevents cultural values ​​from being ignored?
In a prime minister's circular, we were made to be glad that words such as pottery or freak did not pass. AKP, a government that cannot digest Islamic artifacts when you dig under Istanbul, therefore easily ignores history. The follower of the cultural values ​​that can be lost in these projects is no longer the state. Wherever it took its hand in Marmaray project, encountering historical artifacts and disrupting the projects made us think that the existing laws should be exceeded. The circular says this.
soL: It is also among the articles in the circular that the North Marmara Motorway Project will be a priority over other projects. Why does this project take priority? What can we interpret the reason for the care taken?
This project is a huge infrastructure investment with the potential to revive many sectors in a very profitable city like Istanbul. Construction and energy investments keep the country's economy alive. AKP has to maintain this vitality. There are also the imaginations about Istanbul. The city is shaped primarily by its roads. The area is opened with road projects, new centers are determined in this way. This project is largely the product of anxiety to open the northern part of Istanbul to zoning. A center like Mecidiyeköy did not exist before the Bosphorus Bridge. Now the city has spread farther north of this neighborhood. There is a big rent here. His business mind is driving AKP quickly here.
soL: Can we talk about the negative consequences of these directives, both for the project and for the rapid completion of the project?
The project is offered as a solution to a few painful problems such as traffic problem but it has nothing to do with it. It is well known that this is not the solution of Istanbul traffic. Even the traffic disaster experienced during the renovation of the 2nd bridge was used to present the 3rd bridge as a solution. People should move, not vehicles, this is the principle. Other than that, if you cover the throat with concrete, you cannot solve it. Another topic is the question of the city, which has been discussed a lot, is growing north. This is the suicide of Istanbul. The city has reached saturation even on the east-west axis. Growth in the north; new traffic loads, the lack of dams, and the destruction of the forests we have. The Prime Minister responds to the destruction of forests by telling about the seedlings planted on the roadside during his mayor. This is an unacceptable situation.

Source : www.mimarist.org

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