Ministry takes over demolition of illegal villas in Turkey’s tourist town

Turkey’s Ministry of Urbanisation and Environment has taken over the demolition of irregular luxury villas in south-western Turkish vacation destination Bodrum, reported state-run Anadolu news agency.

The ministry stepped in and took over as workers could not use machinery to continue with the works as the available equipment wasn’t tall enough, which resulted in slow progress.

The Urbanisation Ministry found a total of 1611 residences and four hotels in violation of zoning laws in the Muğla province’s popular town. 

Minister Murat Kurum had joined the Coast Guard’s inspections via boat on August 20. Demolitions started on August 24 by owners of the properties, supervised by the municipality.

Rural police units were present at the demolition site on Monday, according to Anadolu agency.

Ministry drones and helicopters are inspecting  the works and recording videos in the area.

According to Turkish law, buildings in or near protected sites have to abide by strict rules for environmental impact and cannot occupy space up to a certain distance from the sea, as the coastline belongs to the public.