Posted on 26 April 2012
The Turkish government recently passed a new law which will allow a parcel of land known as 2B to be used for construction. This land was formerly classified as a forest and covers 4.1 million acres and is in areas where agricultural and construction activity was previously banned by the state.
At the moment the land has some public buildings, housing, farms, meadows and graveyards, as it has previously been used by firms and individuals who have traded the lands without deeds, or without paying any rent to the state.
Under the terms of the new law, land which hasn’t yet been built upon will be allocated for mass housing, while land currently being used will be sold to the users for 70% of its current value. Parliament originally suggested this figure should be just 50%, but this wasn’t popular as many people felt it would lose the state money, and would condone illegal occupation of state lands.
The Turkish government has already introduced plans to build new cities in some of its largest provinces, as it intends an urban transformation, and this new law should create more open spaces for these cities, in particular in Istanbul. Istanbul has grown substantially over the last 30 years or so, and many people have built unsafe homes on 2B land.
It’s debatable whether some of these people will be able to afford the cost of the land, although those choosing to pay all the money upfront will receive a 20% discount, while those paying half the money in advance will receive a 10% discount. It’s estimated 89% of settlement areas in large cities like Istanbul are located in earthquake danger zones, and there are hopes the Housing Development Administration of Turkey could take the initiative to build earthquake resistant homes on 2B land.