A court has denied an order to stay a decision to transfer management of the world renowned İztuzu Beach in Muğla from public to private hands, leading to officials from the private management company arriving at the beach late night on Tuesday accompanied by protests from locals that ended in the intervention of the gendarmerie.

Officials from a private company named DALÇEV, which has British partners, had showed up around midnight on Tuesday and asked for the evacuation of the beach, which led to strong reactions among locals as well as the mayor of the district of Ortaca in Muğla, Republican People’s Party (CHP) member Hasan Karaçelik. When citizens blocked the entry of the DALÇEV team, the gendarmerie arrived and took control of the beach after talking to the two sides.

The beach has been managed by a public enterprise named MUÇEV, according to a statement made by the governor of Muğla. According to a new agreement, MUÇEV was supposed to transfer the beach to the private DALÇEV company, a transfer which according to the statement took place on Dec. 29. The governor’s statement argued that the Ortaca municipality has no legal authority in this process. However, Karaçelik said there is another court decision allowing the transfer to take effect as a precaution.

The second administrative court of Muğla denied the request for a stay in the decision on the beach, which allowed DALÇEV to take over the rights to operate the famous beach, leading to growing protests by the locals, who are against the transfer of the beach from public to private management. The president of the Muğla City Council Union Hamdi Topçuoğlu condemned the decision and argued that public areas are unlawfully transferred to private companies for the purpose of exploitation of valuable land. According to him, places such as İztuzu beach should be managed by local authorities.

A CHP deputy from Muğla, Nurettin Demir, who also showed up on the beach during the incident, called the private management company “occupiers” and said they entered the beach premises by destroying the gate. According to him, since there is no rule of law in the country, these people are encouraged by the leaders who violate laws. The governor of Mugla’s statement also showed he did not approve the breaking of the gate by the officials from DALÇEV, even though they are authorized to manage the beach facilities.


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