Support Message from the President Soyer to the Tradesmen of Bergama

Support Message from the President Soyer to the Tradesmen of Bergama
Support Message from the President Soyer to the Tradesmen of Bergama

Despite the judicial process, the demolition of the shops around the stadium started in the Bergama Millet Bahçesi project, which Izmir Metropolitan Municipality filed a lawsuit against. Despite the decision to stay the execution, the shopkeepers of Bergama, whose electricity was cut off, who faced theft and struggled under the threat of destruction, evaluated the events as cruelty.

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer said, “Here, on the one hand, green space is being tried to be developed, on the other hand, tradesmen who have been eating bread in the same place for years are put in front of the door. We stand by the tradesmen of Bergama with all our determination. Stop the demolitions! You can't add value to any city with stubbornness and pressure," he said.

Despite the judicial process regarding the project initiated by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization for the construction of a national garden on an area of ​​51 thousand 569 square meters that will include the old stadium area in Bergama, the demolition of the shops around the stadium has begun. İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) and tradesmen around 14 Eylül Stadium objected to the project approved by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. The grounds of appeal of the case; When removing the stadium, which is shown as a sports field in the plans, an equivalent area was not reserved, the recreation area in the zoning plans was completely removed, the public parks and parking lots were converted into commercial areas, these changes were contrary to the Zoning Law No. listed as a loss of confidence.

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer, who visited the tradesmen of Bergama in November 2021 to support, called on the Bergama Municipality, which sent a demolition decision to 103 shops around the stadium due to the detection of "risky structures", to stop the demolitions despite the judicial process. President Tunç Soyer emphasized that they do not oppose the construction of green areas, regardless of the name, but the opening of green areas under the name of "Nation's Garden" and the victimization of tradesmen. President Soyer said, “As if the pandemic process was not enough, this attitude towards the tradesmen who are struggling to survive against the economic crisis is unacceptable. The shopkeepers of Bergama, who resisted by keeping their faith in the judiciary, struggle for bread by heating with a tube despite the cold weather and under the shadow of construction machines, next to the destroyed shops, the front of the door filled with rubble, the electricity cut off. No one has the right to do this. You cannot add value to any city with stubbornness and pressure. The judicial process continues. We, as Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, stand by the tradesmen. This mistake should be reversed immediately and the project should be revised by moving away from rent-based regulations and no grievances should be experienced. We are against the development of green areas and public areas by taking shelter behind it, not the people's garden," he said.

“Parking area is being transformed into a commercial area”

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and Bergama Municipality Councilor Ali Bor, who closely follows the process in Bergama, said, “The lawsuit filed by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality is not for the national garden, but there is an objection regarding the transformation of the place currently used as a park in the plans of the national garden into a commercial area. However, the Mayor of Bergama creates a perception in his statements as if Izmir Metropolitan Municipality is trying to prevent the Bergama National Garden project. The truth of the matter is not so. There is cruelty against tradesmen. The objection of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality is not related to the public garden, but to other practices that are contrary to the zoning law. We are watching with horror the political perception studies that are being tried to be done here. The AK Party Group Deputy Chairman is also involved in the latest polemic and politically puts this incompetence caused by the Bergama Municipality on the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality. If they listened to the voice of the tradesmen and the project could be revised, this process could be solved with simple touches. Despite saying these things, they continue their work with great stubbornness, without even listening to the legal decision.

“Destruction was done before the day of discovery came”

İbrahim Turan, one of the stadium tradesmen, gave information about the process in the region and said, “The process here actually started with the 2019 local elections. During the election period, the current mayor said that they will build a square with a parking lot for 500 cars. He had a meeting with the shopkeepers and said that he was the child of the shopkeeper and that no shopkeeper would be victimized. But in the process, this place has turned from a square into a people's garden. There are no commercial areas in the public gardens. Then the legal process started. Despite the mayor's promise to us, a notification was made that the shops should be evacuated within 60 days. In this process, we had a 30-day appeal process. In this process, whether the AK Party Provincial President, Deputy Hamza Dağ, and the district presidencies, we visited all of them, but we could not find a solution. We also went to the court process. We filed lawsuits with the Izmir 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Administrative Courts. We got a stay of execution and final discovery decision from the 2nd and 5th Administrative Courts. The day of discovery was given on March 31, 2022. But the municipality started demolition without waiting for the discovery and the court process.”

“Shops were demolished while the stands were standing”

Turan, who said that the demolition was started by the tradesmen while there were places that were idle and waiting for demolition, said, “15 days ago, the electricity of our tradesmen was cut off. The resistance of the tradesmen was broken. In this cold, he tried to warm himself with tube stoves and generators in his shops. We think what has been done is completely unlawful. We are currently experiencing persecution. The tribunes of Bergama Stadium are standing, the indoor sports hall is still. Instead of demolishing them first, they started demolishing the shops. We do not find it right what a Bergama man did to the tradesmen from Bergama," he said.

Bergama tradesmen rebelled

Tradesman Timuçin Cengiz, whose shop next to him was demolished and the rubble came to his doorstep, said, “I have been doing this business for 30 years. Everything that happened is obvious. I am experiencing what I have not experienced in my life. Unfortunately, Bergama Municipality did not keep its promises. The demolitions have begun, we are sadly watching. It is a big obstacle to our work. This is an attempted removal. Against human rights. None of the promises made were kept. They are forcing us, but we will continue to resist until the end," he said.

Stating that he has been a tradesman for 35 years and that his electricity was cut for the first time, Özgür Apricot said, “There is war in the world, there is an economic crisis and our electricity is cut off here. The electricity of this place had not been cut in any way for 35 years. It is cut like this for the sake of a stubbornness. We cannot sell. I have called an ambulance at least 10 times in front of that shop, the old people have fallen, we have lifted them. The tradesmen and the people of this place are a whole. We didn't say not to do it. It was absurd to do it so stubbornly, at this time, in such a way. This project could have been evaluated in a different way. It could be a plus for Bergama. But it will be a minus for Bergama. There is the unemployment crisis, there is the economic crisis. It is not right to do this work when they are all together.”

“We trusted until the end, we are in a confused state”

Kuruyemişçi Yüksel Simit said, “I have been a tradesman since 1995. We are the children of this city, we grew up here. Couldn't they allocate us a space of 2 square meters in such a large area? Why are they inflicting this torture on the tradesmen of Bergama? What is this hostility towards the tradesmen of Bergama? We watch in amazement. If they did, we would have entered the tender and bought the shops duly. We wouldn't have to give air money like that. There is no electricity in the shop, we burn 500 TL of fuel a day and run a generator. A public opinion has now formed. Even our customers say, 'Is there such a grind?' Before that, the municipality gathered us and promised. It was said that the tradesmen would not be victimized in any way. The mayor is my customer, how many times has he come to my shop. He said definitely not to think of a victimization. We trusted until the end; We are in a state of surprise. They are destroying the shops. He found a shop. He got into debt, got a loan. Many of them carried the goods to the warehouses and their commercial life ended. There are people who are in a very difficult situation. Our own people, the people we chose, would not do this to us. Tunç president came and took a very good approach. He said this is the top of the mountain. But they did such a thing that they went around the back. Thank God, our water has not been cut off because it is connected to the Metropolitan Municipality.

“We keep watch at night in the shop against thieves”

Stating that the thefts have increased due to the destruction around the shops and the exposure of the engines of the cooling devices, shopkeeper Sevgi Çakır said, “The shopkeepers are in a difficult situation. We have just come out of the pandemic. People's purchasing power has already decreased. We're trying to manage with the generator. It is not clear how long we can last under these conditions. There is a judicial process, and the shops of our friends who vacated their shops despite it are being demolished. Removal is encouraged. Our electricity was cut off, which means get out anyway. We are here because the promises made were not kept," he said.

Food tradesman Ersan Ağır said, “We are trying to manage with generators. This is how we struggle because our business is food business. In these economic conditions, which we are struggling with, we are also dealing with such a process. As if these were not enough, we have now started to fight the thieves. How many days have I been sleeping in the shop at night? They stole the motors of the cabinets because the back was destroyed. We couldn't make our voices heard by the President. We did not know what to do, we stayed in the middle. We are also open to innovations, we are not against it, but it should not have been like this.”

“We want to trust the law in this country”

Mehmet Çakmak, who struggled with 14 personnel, said, “As all tradesmen, we applied to the judiciary. We have four stay of execution orders. We are working here with 4 people and we are in a very difficult situation. They literally hijacked this place. I am working with 14 generators. Since the day they cut off the electricity, I have lost at least 3-30 thousand liras. We burn a thousand liras of diesel every day. So that our customers do not get lost. We want to trust the law in this country. Frankly, we don't know what will happen in the future," he said.

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