Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer spoke in a joint press statement against the Cesme Project, which threatens 16 thousand hectares of natural area. Mayor Tunç Soyer stated that they will continue to be involved in all legal processes and said, “Because the main duty of a mayor is to protect the nature of the city in which he works. Every inch of Izmir's land is under our protection," he said. CHP Deputy Chairman Ali Öztunç emphasized that the Cesme Project is the same as Kanal Istanbul.
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Izmir Bar Association, Union of Turkish Engineers and Architects Chambers (TMMOB), Izmir Chamber of Medicine, Aegean Environment against the "Cesme Tourism Project", which is intended to be built on the Çeşme Peninsula by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and covers 55 percent of the district. and Culture Platform (EGEÇEP), Revolutionary Workers' Unions Confederation (DİSK), Turkish Trade Unions Confederation (TÜRK-İŞ), Public Workers' Unions Confederation (KESK) held a joint press statement.
Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Ali Öztunç, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer, CHP İzmir Deputy Sevda Erdan Kılıç, Konak Mayor Abdül Batur and CHP İzmir Provincial President Deniz Yücel, representatives of professional chambers, trade unions and non-governmental organizations and Kültürpark They met in Lausanne Square. Behind the banner “The workers of this city say no to the project of plundering Çeşme”, the cortege marched to Cumhuriyet Square. During the march, slogans such as “Take care of İzmir Çeşme” and “There is no salvation, all together or none of us” were chanted.
“There is no need to parcel out Çeşme to attract tourists”
Speaking at the press conference in Cumhuriyet Square, President Tunç Soyer said that they are together for Çeşme as the guardians of nature. Stating that 8-year-old İzmir has countless stories to tell the world with its history, nature and living existence, Soyer said, “The only thing we have to achieve in order to make İzmir a world city is to believe in its own values. To understand these values and to tell the whole world. We do not need to plot the hills and shores of Çeşme or sell it to foreign capital in order to attract tourists to İzmir. We don't need more concrete, more destruction in this city. The planning studies carried out by the Ministry in Çeşme Culture and Tourism Conservation and Development Region unfortunately threaten the values of İzmir.”
“It is a fiction imposed from the outside”
Saying that tourism projects that do not protect the nature, local culture and local economy have not been successful so far, Soyer underlined that the old understanding of tourism should be abandoned and said, “I would like to summarize in one sentence why we are against the Çeşme Project. Çeşme Project does not belong to Çeşme. It is a fiction imposed from the outside. The project area is the driest and poorest places in İzmir in terms of soil and water. However, this project brings golf courses that use excessive water to this area. There are 11 tourism centers in the region that were announced on different dates. Only three of these areas have an approved zoning plan. While so many tourism areas are empty in Çeşme, this project is opening a brand new area for development. Çeşme's water resources are already very limited. Even to meet the current water needs of the district, we carry water from Karaburun and start to purify the sea water. And yet, there is no realistic basis for increasing the population in the region. Transportation is another pillar of the issue. Çeşme has only one road connection with İzmir. This road is already congested during the summer months. "Such a big project has no realistic solution for traffic," he said.
“Contrary to the chemistry, mind and spirit of İzmir”
Soyer says, “The designed work can be beautiful on paper or elsewhere in the world. However, the Çeşme Project is against the chemistry, mind and spirit of İzmir. For this reason, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality was involved in all legal processes against this project, and we will continue to file new lawsuits from now on. Nature is nobody's father's farm. I want everyone to know this. İzmir does not have a single olive tree to leave to the miners. İzmir does not have an inch of coast to be sacrificed for rent. From Bergama to Seferihisar, from Selçuk to Kiraz and Çeşme, every inch of İzmir's land is under our protection. Because the main duty of a mayor is to protect the nature of the city where he works. In order to keep İzmir alive, we will continue our resistance together with all our stakeholders until the end. You will see! We will protect our nature with resistance. resist resist kazanWe will,” he said.
“What Kanal Istanbul is to Istanbul, the Fountain Project is to Izmir”
CHP Deputy Chairman Ali Öztunç said, “You guys, 'Don't let Çeşme be sacrificed for rent. We are from Izmir, we live in Çeşme. You say, 'Do not spoil this beauty of Çeşme'. But someone is playing cartography. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken a ruler and pen and distributed it to the Qataris saying "here, here". They robbed the treasure. These evaporated $128 billion. They have sold as many factories as they have since the Republic. They sold the shores, the beaches, the forests. It's time for Çeşme. All the birds are gone, it's the stork's turn. We stand in solidarity with you. Here I am calling out to AKP's Hamza Dağ: 'You talk about everything, you don't open your mouth about the smallest thing about İzmir'. Çeşme Project is a rent project. Cesme Project is in Izmir what Kanal Istanbul is in Istanbul. If you have a little love for Izmir, you will stand against this project. Let them make up their minds. Today we are in Republic Square. This is a warning. If this project continues, we will fill hundreds of thousands in Gündoğdu.”
Harmful to the nature of Çeşme
Ömer Turgut Erlat, the lawyer of the lawsuit filed against the Çeşme Project, explained the point reached in the legal process. Stating that the judicial process has not been completed despite the report of the expert appointed by the 6th Chamber of the Council of State, "There is no public interest in the project", Erlat explained the damage the project will cause to the nature of Çeşme.
Who participated in the statement?
In addition to İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer, Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Ali Öztunç, CHP İzmir MPs Sevda Erdan Kılıç and Tacettin Bayır, CHP İzmir Provincial President Deniz Yücel, Çeşme Mayor Ekrem Oran, Konak Mayor Abdul Batur, Karşıyaka Mayor Cemil Tugay, Mayor of Foça Fatih Gürbüz, Mayor of Narlıdere Ali Engin, Mayor of Bornova Mustafa İduğ, Mayor of Dikili Adil Kırgöz, Mayor of Beydağ Feridun Yılmazlar, Mayor of Çiğli Utku Gümrükçü, Deputy Mayor of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mustafa Özuslu, CHP district heads, members of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and district municipalities, unions, professional chambers, environmental associations, representatives of non-governmental organizations, workers, headmen and hundreds of citizens.