Mersin Metropolitan Municipal Council's 2021st meeting in May 1 was held under the chairmanship of the Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Vahap Seçer. One of the important issues that President Seçer brought to the agenda of the Assembly was the expansion of Mersin Port. President Seçer said, “I want to make an appeal to the Assembly, to the public from here; Let's go to Ankara, let's go together. He told us that the Ministry of Transport should build our main container port as soon as possible ”.
Mayor Seçer stated that the work towards the expansion of Mersin Port should be stopped legally and explained the process with the following words: “In total, 190 thousand 385 square meters of filling in the direction of Atatürk Park, changes in the zoning plan were approved by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, but here we, as the Assembly, we gave an opinion. Despite this, the foundation was laid and the construction started. Currently, construction must be stopped legally. I wonder what the situation is. As Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, this would not be appropriate; This is already fixed by the decision of the Assembly; we shared it with the whole public. We conveyed the necessary opinions to the necessary authorities on this issue, but we could not get a result. Even the following voices were heard from the Assembly; 'everything is finished, what are we striving for?' "There are judges in Berlin." This is a very famous saying. There are also judges in Turkey. We, as Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, carried this to the judiciary. I'm fine. The Ministry of Urbanization is also administered. Judicial remedy is open against the acts and actions of the administration. I am exercising a constitutional right and we filed a lawsuit against the EIA report on 22 June 2020. The owner of the port, Turkish Republic State Railways, and the current operator of the port were also involved in the case. So MIP. "
"While we were privatizing, we rented the interior of this port, we did not rent the hall of Mersin, the entrance and the corridor of Mersin."
Sharing the expert report prepared during the trial process with the members of the Assembly, Mayor Seçer said, “The report stated that the plans subject to the case are incompatible with the upper scale plans, and that there are more suitable areas for the expansion of the port south of the port breakwater. Mersin 2nd Administrative Court signed an important decision in terms of public opinion on April 29, 2021, and the court board made a judgment with an expert report and a suspension of execution decision was made on the decisions of 1/1000 and 1/5000 zoning plan changes. This is important. All but all of the arguments we put forward, that is, the claims we put forward in explaining why this is wrong, are in the justification of the court. He said in the decision; "In the expert report, the traffic on the D-400 highway due to the expansion of the port has not been taken into account." We also said this. The same application continues now. Again, this is not true. It is wrong to use that street as a parking area for trucks and trucks as a port. Whoever allows this, whatever institution allows it, I warn here on behalf of the people of Mersin, you are doing wrong. The interests of the people of Mersin must be important to you. It was a port, it gave us taxes. For me, the port is important, not inside. We, as the Turkish people, rented the interior of this port while privatizing, we did not rent the hall of Mersin, the entrance and the corridor of Mersin, once again, I warn you from here, ”he said.
Reminding that the south of the free zone is shown as the port expansion area in the landscaping plan of the court and the current 1/5000 scale commissioned by the municipality, Seçer continued as follows:
“So we're back to the beginning again. Because the plan has been made before. We can build a port that will not disrupt the traffic there, approximately 5 times the capacity to be obtained in the existing expansion works and 6 times larger, the main container port. He points to him. He says, 'There is already a suitable place there. It also says; It was pointed out that 'Atatürk Park and its subsequent Culture Park reflects the characteristic of Mersin and that Atatürk Park is integrated with the historical city center. In the court decision, the expert report stated that the importance of city parks such as Atatürk Park increased during the epidemic period. In the decision, he emphasized that although the port expansion project does not directly contact Atatürk Park, the port activities will expand towards Atatürk Park, maneuver and docking areas and storage areas will be created, which will cut the connection between Atatürk Park and the newly built Millet Garden and the historical city center with the sea. These are included in the court decision. You have the discretion. As Vahap Seçer, I have to claim Mersin as the Mayor of Mersin Metropolitan Municipality. While doing this, I do it within the legal framework, I do it with the public, I do it with my Parliament. It is obvious where I got my strength from. I do not take instructions from anyone. I did not come by appointment. The folks chose me. I get instructions from the nation. So are you. You will also receive instructions from the nation. The people also oppose this, and the majority of the Assembly. I wish it passed unanimously, it passed with the majority of votes. He says this is wrong. We are trying to say that it is a second port, or more accurately, the main container port, that suits here. "
"Let's go out in Ankara, let's go together"
Emphasizing that Mersin, which pays the fifth and sixth tax in Turkey, could not get the contribution from the central government, Seçer said, “There are some evaluations of TURKSTAT. Look from there, you will see what rank 20. From here I want to make a call to my Assembly, to the public; Let's go to Ankara, let's go together. Let's take the chambers, let's get the representatives, our Assembly members, our party representatives; Let the Ministry of Transport build our main container port as soon as possible. It is included in the 11th Development Plan, the 10th Development Plan and the 9th Development Plan. Although it was changed as the Eastern Mediterranean in the 12th Development Plan, Mersin turned into the Eastern Mediterranean. It is already in our development plan. Everything was already marked on the plans before, everything is ok, even the road connections are clear. Why do we keep our ears in reverse? Why do we waste time in Mersin ”he said.