Protection rules ditched in major stadium project

Ministry has changed the zoning plan for the plot of land in İstanbul's Beşiktaş district on which sits BJK İnönü Stadium, which experts say creates a huge risk

Protection rules ditched in major stadium project

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Environment and Urban Planning Ministry has changed the zoning plan for the plot of land in İstanbul's Beşiktaş district on which sits BJK İnönü Stadium, which experts say creates a huge risk as this will mean there will be no municipal oversight or inspection by any cultural assets protection board for new projects on the land, which is close to some of İstanbul's most important historic sights.

Experts have also noted that the removal by the ministry of a clause stipulating oversight by a protection board is also not completely legal. Experts say the target of the ministry is to circumvent anyone who can question the environmental or historic feasibility of a new planned project --- a new stadium that can accommodate 42,000 spectators. According to the Conservation of Cultural and Natural Property Law No. 2863, the stadium, which has a protected status and is also located in a protected zone, cannot be changed without a decision by the Board of Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets No. 3.

The head of the İstanbul Chamber of City Planners, Tayfun Kahraman, said: “As per Law No. 2863, the board's oversight cannot be circumvented just by canceling a provision in a zoning plan. The ministry wants to keep the project both from the İstanbul Municipality and the protection board.” He said that the new project includes a shopping center in the stadium, which would draw more traffic to the area. “Our first objection to the project's previous plan was that the large capacity of the stadium would make the traffic situation in Beşiktaş worse. Now they plan to have shopping areas on the lower floors of the stadium, which means that it will also draw traffic during the day.”

Mücella Yapıcı, a member of the Chamber of Architect's environmental impact report (ÇED) board, said: “The ministry is overstepping its authorities and putting itself in the place of both the municipality and the board. This is an imposition and a very dangerous decision. This area happens to be the most important valley in İstanbul; it is filled with protected structures and buildings and is of extreme importance in terms of the panoramic view of the Bosporus skyline.” She said that increasing the capacity of such an important building in the city was also wrong and that it was part of a larger tendency based on money and profit-making and forsaking İstanbul's natural and historic resources.

Can Binan of Yıldız Technical University's architecture department was a member of the protection board that accorded the stadium with protected status in 2005. He said: “In 2002-2003 the area where the stadium is located was integrated into the area of protection for Dolmabahçe Palace. This decision was taken to prevent the stadium from growing and extending and that any changes to the stadium should be carried out with consideration of the view of Dolmabahçe Palace in the skyline.” He said that the stadium should be renovated in accordance with architectural protection criteria.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Mart 2013, 10:12

Muhammed Öylek