Istanbul’s Esenyurt suffers from haphazard urbanization: Mayor

There has been an uncontrolled urbanization in Istanbul's Esenyurt district, Mayor Kemal Deniz Bozkurt has said.

The mayor gave information about the works carried out in Esenyurt district against the possible Istanbul earthquake, one of the most high-risk places where the eyes are turned after the quakes centered in Kahramanmaraş.

Bozkurt stated that after being elected as mayor, he realized that there were no inventory records kept on any field, thus he had no idea how many buildings the district has and what percentage of said buildings were old structures.

Stating that he only had information about the 118 standing structures affected by the 1999 quakes, the mayor explained that their teams demolished 89 of the buildings in question in the last four years.

Regarding search and rescue operations in the aftermath of a possible quake, Bozkurt said that the municipality created a special search and rescue unit for the district, and planned two caravans with mobile communication tools where search and rescue activities would be managed.

Within the scope of urban transformation works carried out, the mayor said that from around 43 million square meters of land belonging to the district, almost 95 percent is occupied and structured, and they will conduct inspections of all licensed or unlicensed constructions.

"There are 43 neighborhoods, and we have a population of around 1.3 million including migrants. The building stock is quite sufficient. I don't want any more new buildings here," Bozkurt said.

Bozkurt added that there is an uncontrolled construction rush that "spreads uncontrollably like cancer," something that needs to be strictly supervised.

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