TOKİ cancels Ataköy land privatization tenders

August 19, 2009, Wednesday/ 17:13:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
The Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) has cancelled tenders for the sale or lease of land in İstanbul's Ataköy neighborhood.

Having recently decided to privatize publicly owned land along the Ataköy coast, TOKİ said they would start tenders for either the sale or lease of the land, which consists of four separate parcels. The administration announced they would start tenders for the sale of three parcels and the lease of one, separately. The tenders were due start today in Ankara; however, TOKİ said the process has been cancelled.

TOKİ's decision to privatize the Ataköy coast has sparked debates as some parties harshly criticized the administration for trying to benefit unfairly from land that is open to public use. People living in the Ataköy neighborhood have asked TOKİ to designate the coast as public land and cancel the privatization process. TOKİ President Erdoğan Bayraktar, however, said there is already enough space for public use along the Ataköy coast and that they expected to provide extra income for the state, mentioning that the land had already been “occupied” illegally for the past 28 years.

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