Alsancak Inspector speaks out on Building Debacle

Three quarters of buildings inspected by the civil engineer of Alsancak municipality would be in danger of collapse if a strong earthquake hit the area, is the startling assessment  made by Baris Ulbar who inspects hundreds of buildings on his day to day duties.

Mr. Ulbar says, " The problems caused by the explosion in the construction industry is getting out of hand".  These include noise pollution created by building work, Environmental Destruction and the waste of resources caused by many villas being built with a swimming pool and fireplace being installed in almost every house.

But the most important of all, according to Mr.Ulbar, is the Danger to life from properties built without inspection or using poor and low quality materials.  Mr Ulbar goes on to say" the problems caused by the construction sector are so vast that a day is not enough to speak about them all. "

Mr Ulbar sited the large construction site within the Alsancak municipality (known to some as "the true oasis") as a prime example.

The platform shown below has been prepared for the foundations of villas being built on a hillside by levelling the ground, causing an abnormality in the natural   terrain.

In addition, as you can see, excess earth from the levelling has been dumped into the ravine,  covering the vegetation on the slope, creating the possibility that a landslide will happen following heavy rains.  This could block the natural path of water flowing down the valley and lead to further problems.

As you look around this site in Alsancak, there are lots of other surrounding construction projects built on sites carved on hilltops with no retaining walls.  Referring to these, Mr Ulbar says there are no specific regulations for developments built on slopes or on the side of ravines. (Well perhaps there should be ).

Mr Ulbar continues " As rain falls, earth dumped on the slope of a ravine will slide down, possibly blocking the river ".  This will obviously cause flood water to back up until the force of pressure bursts the blockage, causing millions of gallons of flood water to surge down the ravine along with rock boulders and trees, washing away all in its path.  One has only to remember the tragic events in Lynmouth, North Devon ( pictured below) to realise the severe consequences of inaction.

Mr. Ulbar says " Some builders try to get around the rules however they cannot fool nature." The environment is being destroyed by efforts to change the shape of the terrain to open space suitable for building.

As laws stand now, Alsancak municipality's view has only to be sought at the end of a procedure for the granting permission (perhaps it should be sought prior to work starting).

Under these circumstances, Mr. Ulbar says there is little planners can do to stop developers flouting what regulations there are.

It seems that it is not just the construction industry that needs education on environmental issues as, when a negative report about a large extension to a hotel without the required parking spaces was submitted, top politicians put pressure on the author of the report to withdraw it as it was seen as trying to block the path of tourism.

Mr.Ulbar goes on to say 75% of buildings he has personally inspected in the past 2 years have been built in an unprofessional way and could collapse should an earthquake occur.

It would appear one of the major problems is that there is a lack of inspections on most building sites and that the workers, most of whom are brought in from Turkey, have never worked on large scale developments, also they are doing the job according to their own insufficient knowledge and without a proper ground study being carried out.

Without a proper ground study being carried out, who will decide if the soil is hard enough and how deep the foundation pits will be? The workers? The digger operator or the engineer who has not showed up??

Low quality housing is being constructed.  This can be seen by the examples of poor quality cement being used  & improper connection of iron bars used in construction.

When will it stop?  Who will be brave enough to stop it?