The illegal housing development has been stopped in Foça SEPA

E-35-Foça-HT01  An housing together with a pavilion built on the rocky coasts on the southwest coast of Orak Island in Foça was determined by SAD in June 2016. With this such a bad example, Orak Island became a kind of open to risks of coastal development by any other individual. This action was clearly illegal, but it reminds us of many examples that has started similarly and ended up with mass construction areas threatening the habitat all the way through.

SAD-AFAG brought the issue to the attention of Ministry of Environment, Foça Municipality, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, İzmir Governorship and all other related bodies of whom we thought somehow missed the issue. Similar buildings might appear on the island by simply taking it as an example or the building that can be seen in the photograph below can be enlarged by adding new living spaces. We believe that this illegal housing should be immediately demolished by the authorities. Otherwise SAD will have to start judicial process by filing a criminal complaint file. Foça and its islands are still in the status of protected areas that was announced as Special Environment Protection Area in 1990.

As soon as this problematic issue was heard (as of 02 June 2016), Foça Orak Island illegal development case was shared in social media, among SAD members and other conservationists and reported to DG Protection of Natural Assets, as the relevant GO. In order to let the authorities remove the building, DG Protection of Natural Assets was officially informed and a report about the issue in meetings and then a report was prepared and sent to related departments in the Ministry with an official communique letter in 10.08.2016. Later, SAD reiterated the situation and asked the removal of illegal housing development on Orak Island applying to İzmir Governorship. At last, SAD received an affirmative letter from DG Protection of Natural Assets stating that the houses that were built illegally on Orak Island in Foça SEPA has been demolished and completely removed with a clear report and photos about Orak Island proving the restoration of this important island habitat for Mediterranean monk seals and shag breeding colony.

© 2017 SAD-AFAG