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77 properties to be urgently expropriated for third bridge, highway project.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- The urgent expropriation of 77 parcels of land in eight different districts of ystanbul spanning the Northern Marmara Highway and third ystanbul bridge projects was recently ordered by the Highways General Directorate (HGM), according to a report in the HE-rriyet daily.

The exact locations of the land to be expropriated, published in the Official Gazette, include a list of properties in ystanbul's BaE-akE-ehir, ArnavutkE[micro]y, Saryyer, Beykoz, EcekmekE[micro]y, Sultanbeyli, E[pounds sterling]mraniye and Sancaktepe districts.

The Northern Marmaray Highway project, a major route that includes the controversial third Bosporus Bridge, seeks to link the provinces of Tekirday- and Adapazary, a distance of roughly 414 kilometers. EcekmekE[micro]y, Sultanbeyli, E[pounds sterling]mraniye and Sancaktepe, all located on the Anatolian side of ystanbul, account for 57 of the properties that will be expropriated, while 15 properties are in Beykoz, on the inner Anatolian side, facing the bridge. The remaining five locations are found in the Saryyer, ArnavutkE[micro]y and BaE-akE-ehir districts, all located on ystanbul's European side. Saryyer coincides with the western end of the third Bosporus bridge.

The third bridge project has repeatedly popped up in the media since it was announced in 2013. After the government claimed that the bridge would be named after Sultan Yavuz Selim, Turkey's Alevis -- who comprise around 15 percent of the population -- were infuriated; the sultan, also known as Selim the Grim, was infamous for slaughtering upwards of 40,000 Alevis during his reign. President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an, during his tenure as ystanbul's mayor in the 1990s, once said that a third bridge over the Bosporus would spell "murder" for the city, however, he has since come out in full support of the ambitious project.

Environmentalists have argued that the construction of the bridge will result in intense deforestation and will exacerbate, rather than alleviate, ystanbul's traffic crisis. The neighborhoods located immediately on either side of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, the second built over the Bosporus, swelled following the bridge's completion in the late 1980s, and critics fear that the third bridge will create a similar situation, resulting in an explosion in development and increased traffic. Workers on the bridge have gone on strike in the last year to demand unpaid wages; they started their strike after claiming that they had not been paid for two months of work. In addition, a tragedy occurred in April when three workers fell to their deaths after scaffolding on a viaduct collapsed during the construction.

The Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications announced late last year that they intend to open the third bridge on Oct. 29, 2015, to coincide with the 86th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Jan 14, 2015
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