AKP's municipality bans outdoor swimming pools, restricts studio apartments

Zeytinburnu district municipality council in İstanbul enacted a new regulation regarding the urban transformation projects in the area on November 28
Thursday, 07 December 2017 23:19

Zeytinburnu district municipality council in İstanbul enacted a new regulation regarding the urban transformation projects in the area on November 28.

The new regulation projects a definite pro-Islamist transformation in Zeytinburnu district for urban rent. According to the new regulation, open pools will not be allowed in housing projects and the ratio of studio apartments will be limited to 15% in the district.

The step is based on a reactionary concern that studio apartments are morally corrupt places of "inappropriate conduct" as previously noted by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who said "it is inappropriate for male and female students to share an apartment." Some other district municipalities of the AKP government deemed studio apartments as "nests of prostitution" in recent past since those apartments are generally preferred by the bachelors.

Each building complex is required to contain a masjid, the regulation also stipulates. The masjids will be separate from the buildings.

The new regulation passed by majority voting in the district municipality council although the aldermen from the CHP party voted against it. Esin Hacıalioğlu, who is a member of both the Zeytinburnu Construction Commission and a CHP member of the İstanbul Municipal Council, talked to local media and said the municipality's regulation is clearly "a sharia decision".

"This understanding of [housing] planning is a total comedy," said Hacıalioğlu, criticising the 15 percent quota on single-bedroom apartments. "They will only allow up to 15 percent of the apartment units constructed to be single-bedroom units due to 'inappropriate' lifestyles. Is a sin 'haram' when it's above 15 percent and 'halal' when it's below it? Such an understanding of planning is unacceptable. This is a total comedy," she added.

Zeytinburnu is a slum area in İstanbul, housing mainly the working class. Zeytinburnu district is a pilot area for the urban transformation projects of the AKP government in İstanbul for rent.