As debate on the development in Bodrum and the future of the peninsula heats up, a real estate agent has admitted he constructed buildings on land that belongs to the Treasury in Güllük Bay without having any permits or licenses.
Local officials said he was issued official warnings several times and must vacate the buildings as soon as possible. The real estate agent’s buildings on the land include a hotel and a restaurant.
Environmentalists visited a bay in Muğla’s Güllük district yesterday after they were informed that the sea was being filled with rubble.İlyas Ergül, a real estate agent from İzmir who owns the premises in the bay, told Bodrum Citizen Initiative spokesman Ayhan Karahan that there was no wrongdoing.
"I have been investing in this land for the last 40 years, and I have spent more than 500,000 liras so far," Ergül said. "I don’t have land registry, I don’t have a building permit or any other legal permission. No official has told me to stop; they in fact said, ’You continue building and will get the permits in the future.’ Let me be clear, I did it and the state didn’t tell me to stop."
Karahan said the case was a good example of the "plunder of the shores."
"A man came here 40 years ago, started building tourism facilities, and no official asked what he was doing," Karahan said. "Besides, they encouraged him saying that he would get the permits in the future. Now, after he has spent all he has got here, he will have to leave."
Karahan said the officials should be prosecuted. "We will file a lawsuit against Ergül to force him out of here," he said. "But we will also file lawsuits against all the officials who did not stop this scandal. The plunder will not stop until those who oversaw the plunder are severely punished."
Milas Local Administrator Şahin Arslan argued that Ergül was not telling the truth and that legal action had been taken against him.
"The Treasury filed several lawsuits, won them all and he was officially told to leave the land," he said. "The state does not tell anybody to build unlicensed hotels; it does not overlook such situations."
Arslan said the firm that did the filling work on the shore was also warned and some of the rubble in the sea has already been taken back.
Güllük Mayor Aytunç Kayrakçı of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, noted that there were a large number of construction sites in the district. "Güllük Bay has become a popular spot for tourism investments and summerhouses," he said. "One of the investors filled in the sea with rubble. As soon as I took the office after the March 29 elections, I had them remove some of the rubble. We launched an official procedure and fined the firm 10,000 liras."