The construction plan for Üsküdar Square Project has been first introduced to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Council in December. It drew attention that the report included terms such as ‘with this project, pedestrian transit would be available on all sides, it will provide space for various open-air events, in the event of a possible earthquake or natural disasters alike, this space would provide a safe gathering point for people.’ CHP’s Council Members have objected the construction plans and argued that the space would instead be “dangerous” in case there is an earthquake.
Construction plans, despite CHP’s efforts, were sent to the ministry with the votes of AKP. IBB has applied to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization on 22 December 2016. The Ministry hastily approved this application and started off the ÇED process on 26 December 2016. The Ministry rounded the ÇED process out yesterday and adjudicated that a “ÇED report isn’t required.”
‘Degree 1 earthquake zone’
CHP Istanbul Deputy Barış Yarkadaş who argued that the zone carries the risk of a possible earthquake, has said “Istanbul is a city populated by 15 million people and is under the risk of a possible earthquake. A large area for Istanbul’s Üsküdar district is designated as a degree 1 earthquake zone. Isn’t it a much greater risk to not require a ÇED report for such a risky zone?”
Yarkadaş who presented a motion to GNAT’s General Assembly asked these question to Environment and Urbanization Minister, Mehmet Özhaseki:
‘Why was a ÇED report not required?’
“1- What is the reasoning behind the response that an “Environmental Effect Evolution (ÇED) isn’t required” concerning the Üsküdar Square Project?
2-Istanbul is a city populated by 15 million people and is under the risk of a possible earthquake. A large area for Istanbul’s Üsküdar district is designated as a degree 1 earthquake zone. Isn’t it a much greater risk to not require a ÇED report for such a risky zone?”
3-How much of the area of water will be converted to land?
4-How many stakes will be used? What are their lenghts, diameters, the amounts of concrete and fittings that will be used on them? What are the amounts of fillings that were mobilized to the area and the amounts of excavated waste? What are their costs?”