There has been a new development regarding urban transformation in Istanbul Tarlabaşı, which has been transformed into a five-star hotel, an office, a residence and a shopping center by GAP İnşaat, a subsidiary of Çalık Holding, whose son-in-law of President Tayyip Erdoğan Berat Albayrak was the CEO for some time.
The 4th Administrative Court of Istanbul ruled in favor of the owner in the lawsuit brought by a person whose building was destroyed in Tarlabaşı against the annulment of the title of the municipality of Beyoğlu. However, as the construction was completed without waiting for the end of the legal proceedings, there was no property or land to return. According to the lawyers, in order to cover the damages, GAP İnşaat has to pay the current price of the building or make the owners of the building shareholders.
The area of 20,000 square meters in Tarlabaşı, where there are 269 buildings, of which 209 are cultural properties, in the protected urban area, was established in 2006 by decision of the Council of Ministers.renewal area‘ was declared. The basis is known as Beyoğlu law.Law No. 5366 on the Renewal, Protection and Use of Worn Historical and Cultural Real Estatebeen
The name of Beyoğlu Municipality’s plan for Tarlabaşı is ‘renovationHowever, in the interview he gave to the then mayor, Misbah Demircan Radikal, he admitted that was not the intention and that they had prepared a law to demolish Tarlabaşı.
Since the municipality did not offer the possibility of renewing the property with the owners, some owners accepted the fixed price and some sued for the reversal of this decision. The project was awarded to GAP İnşaat by tender and demolition started in Tarlabaşı from 2011. Residents had to leave their neighborhoods.
While the demolition continued, legal proceedings were also ongoing. Some of the legal actions brought by the owners for the annulment of the expropriation decision have been rejected by the administrative courts of Istanbul. These decisions were appealed and the files were transferred to the Council of State. The Council of State, in an annulment decision in 2013, declared ‘the owner should have the opportunity to benefit from the new project, but such an approach is not adopted.‘ he stated.
According to the decision, the ownership rights of buildings assigned to non-public uses such as commerce and tourism were transferred to different persons. The demolition of Tarlabaşı was in progress when the Council of State decided to cancel it because the local court had not issued a stay decision.
The decision of the Council of State became final in 2020. Until that time ‘renovation‘ is the name of the project ‘Taksim 360’ it happened. Taksim 360, which stretches along Tarlabaşı Boulevard as a mix of luxury hotel, residence, office and shopping center – as Demircan described in the interview – also has its famous residents. One of them is Xavier Hermes, one of the owners of the fashion brand Hermès, which produced the $50,000 handbag, which the public has known since the election of Emine Erdoğan.
The court ruled in favor
After the finalization of the State Council’s decision, the people whose building was destroyed filed a lawsuit against the Beyoğlu Municipality and GAP İnşaat for the cancellation of the title deeds registered by the municipality in their own name and to be returned to them. . One such case was settled in favor of the owner recently. With the decision of the 4th Administrative Court of Istanbul, the title deed will be registered in the name of its former owner.
The de facto impossibility emerges here, as there is no longer a structure to return the title deed. The building must be demolished for the owners to be compensated, but this is no longer possible. According to the information given by the lawyers in the case, the registration of the title deed of the demolished building can also be carried out by the method of shareholding on the existing building. It is another option for owners to come to an agreement with GAP İnşaat and receive the current market value of their demolished buildings.
A precedent for those who do not prosecute?
There are many people whose buildings were destroyed in Tarlabaşı, but this decision is not a precedent for everyone. According to the information provided by the lawyers, expensive procedures such as the restitution of the cost of expropriation and the filing of a fee equivalent to the value of the case are necessary to bring this lawsuit. For these reasons, owners who do not sue will not be able to benefit from this decision.
AKP, CHP and SP unanimously approved
Let’s get to those who make the decisions that make homeowners suffer. Beyoğlu Municipality signed the tender with GAP İnşaat on April 4, 2007. Architectural drafts were also approved by the Regional Cultural and Natural Heritage Conservation Council of Istanbul Renewal Areas on November 30 2007. In the first days of 2008, the projects were unanimously accepted by AKP, Saadet Party and CHP members in Beyoğlu City Council.
After the cancellation of the expropriation decision, the owners also filed a criminal complaint with the Istanbul Prosecutor General’s Office against GAP İnşaat officials and project managers. A non-prosecution decision was issued against GAP İnşaat officials, and the investigation against municipal officials is still open.
Although the owners of the building have appealed to the Constitutional Court because of the loss of rights, no decision has yet been made.
Those who struggle are in prison
The Chamber of Architects and the Chamber of Urban Planners conducted studies and filed lawsuits against the law that turned Tarlabaşı into a giant construction site in the middle of the city.
Published by TMMOB Chamber of Architects, Istanbul Metropolitan Branch. ‘Tarlabaşı An Urban Struggle’ In his book, architect Mücella Yapıcı, who at the time was secretary of the EIA advisory board, said the following about the Tarlabaşı project:The consequences of the intervention in Tarlabaşı are not only the destruction of historical assets, urban identity and culture of Beyoğlu and Tarlabaşı. Today, it is the starting point for the construction of the global city, which has developed by destroying the nature, culture and history of Istanbul and even of the entire Marmara region.“
Can Atalay, the lawyer for the Chamber of Architects, also spoke about the project in the same book as follows:(…) While I was personally present, the representative of Çalık Group was presenting the residences they would build in Tarlabaşı. “Until we make the environment completely safe, you won’t be dealing with these poor disreputable people until they’re kicked out of here.” You will come with your car, enter the car park, and thanks to the car parks, you will take the elevator or go directly to your home. You will not have to deal unnecessarily with the poor outside. he said. (…)“
Urban planner Tayfun Kahraman described the project at a panel held in 2008.ghettoization of tourism‘ has been defined.
Osman Kavala was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment, and Mücella Yapıcı, Çiğdem Mater, Hakan Altınay, Mine Özerden, Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman and Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi were sentenced to 18 years in prison during the trial where the defendants accused of for financing and organizing the Gezi Park protests have been put on trial.
Mücella Yapıcı, Can Atalay and Tayfun Kahraman have been in prison since April 25.