Recurring flash flooding in Turkish coastal town caused by municipal negligence - analysis

The streets of Turkey’s Aegean coastal city of Bodrum have been repeatedly flooded due to negligence on the part of the municipality, which turned a blind eye to scientific reports signalling the impending disaster, wrote Esra Tüzün in her analysis for Ahval Turkish.

Heavy rainfall swept cars down the streets, leaving them either submerged or stacked and waters reaching more than one metre in depth, causing damage to 100 houses and workplaces in Bodrum on Friday.

This was the second such incident in 10 days and despite a statement from Bodrum Mayor Mehmet Kocadon that citizens were warned in advance of the "monsoon like’’ rain, what is being labelled a historical disaster could have been prevented, Tüzün wrote.

Turkey’s highly-coveted tourist hub, whose villages still do not have running water, is home to million dollar homes, yet within minutes of heavy rainfall, it’s heart known as the Gümbet Intersection, a symbol of the town’s structural pollution, was submerged in water.

The incidents points to architectural negligence, Tüzen said, highlighting to a report dating back to September of 2015 by Professor of Civil Engineering at Ceyhun Özçelik of Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University.

“Stream beds have been transformed into roads in what is Bodrum’s irregular urbanisation,’’ Özçelik wrote. “You cannot make a motorway out of a canal. Public and private buildings without any infrastructure were placed on top of stream beds. It is not money, but engineering that is required here.’’

Bodrum’s mayor Kocadon, who was aware of the town’s structural problems did not take any steps to rectify the problem, Tüzün said, feeling comfortable enough to post a picture of himself on the day of the flooding with a smile on his face.