Another Threat in the Earthquake Zone: “Emergency Decree of Settlement and Construction with the Force Of Law”

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Construction is allowed in pastures and forests by the state of emergency decree.

With the statutory decree issued at midnight on February 24th and published in the Official Gazette, pasture and forest areas were opened to construction for the new settlements in the disaster area. The Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change will now be able to use forests and pastures if deemed necessary.   

The authority to change the qualifications of areas for new settlements was given to the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, regardless of any other institution.

In the determined permanent settlement areas, including village settlement areas and existing urban areas, construction was allowed according to the approved layout plan and construction permit obtained by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change by the geological survey and soil investigation reports, without waiting for the planning and public works to be approved by the Ministry.

The provisions regarding public display, announcement, and objections in the planning and parcelling processes of the Physical Development Planning Law were excluded from the application, and the way to object to the existing announcements was closed.

The authority for disposing of debris from the disaster areas was also given to the governorship. However, the decree did not include concrete conditions regarding the precautions to be taken during this process.   

This decree goes against the need to build new living spaces in harmony with nature after the earthquakes and the consequent losses. It must be rescinded and reorganised to protect the rights of nature.

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