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15-07-2017 12:11 | Read 813 times

Holidaymakers turfed out of their bungalows

HOLIDAYMAKERS were turfed out of their Karpaz seaside bungalows as officials enforced 2016 court rulings on seven sites ruled guilty of having built illegally in the Karpaz Area of Special Protection.

Holidaymakers turfed out of their  bungalows

There were tearful and angry scenes as staff from the Environmental Protection Department swooped on Monday, evicting visitors including both locals and foreign tourists.
Hüseyin Erenköylü, partner at the Sea Bird Motel, a Trip Advisor-recommended holiday site, said: "They locked up my 19 bungalows and customers had to find a hotel or a place in the village, but a stone house [on the site] which is pre-74 is legal and I am still here."
Livana Hotel's 26 beachside bungalows and showers were sealed on Monday but the hotel and restaurant remain open. Owner Mehmet Ölmez said: "I have been here since 1990, and they connected me to water and electricity and allowed me to bring the wooden chalets in duty-free. Now they have even sealed the tap to the beach showers.
“Some of guests were crying when they were told to move out but we managed to put them in the hotel. We are still open.”
He added that Hasan's Turtle Beach and Gold Island sites had been completely closed.
Departmental officials toured the beachside complexes last Friday and Monday, formally sealing extra rooms and facilities added over a period of years.
Burhan Kalın and Erdoğan Tekin, two operators who were sent to prison last year for failure to comply with demolition orders against their premises behind the peninsula's iconic Golden Beach, have been provided with an alternative plot near the Blue Sea Hotel, as ruled by the court.
But Mr Kalın told Cyprus Today: "I don't even go into [Dipkarpaz] any more because there is such a bad atmosphere. My chalets are thrown on to a 5,000m2 plot on a hill near the sea with no beach, and there is no road, no water and no electricity. The ministry is waiting for money from Turkey to open a tender. 
"If I had the money to move to Asia, I would go tomorrow."
He added: "The showers and toilets are locked up but I am still living at Golden Beach as it is my home. Every day I am turning away people asking [to use the facilities], and some are now using the back of the beach as a toilet."
Mr Kalın rubbished claims by troubled boutique hotel owners in Dipkarpaz that the illegal beach entrepreneurs were to blame for their lack of trade, saying beach-lovers would not stay in the village instead, but would merely go elsewhere.
Angry Dipkarpaz Mayor Suphi Coşkun said: "Eleven families and a number of workers have been left without any income. 
"No-one is managing the area and we have no services. I invite the Environmental Protection Department to come and pick up all the rubbish left on the coasts, because I am not collecting it."
A tender to asphalt the potholed road from Dipkarpaz to the Zafer Burn cape has still not been opened, and no information could be obtained from the Tourism and Environment Ministry about future plans for the area, despite numerous phone calls and a promise to reply on Thursday.
Minister Fikri Ataoğlu said in January that no construction would be allowed in the area, which is designated an area of special environmental protection.
However, moves to downgrade the archaeological status of Golden Beach began earlier this year when officials spent days surveying before moves began to reduce its listing from Grade One to Grade Three.
Environmental Platform activists raised fears that the change would see development allowed in the region.

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