BODRUM – Doğan News Agency

Swimming pools built on top of 3,500-year-old stone tombs in Bodrum were being demolished when a tumult occurred between the subcontractors and the municipal crew, which ultimately brought the county police to the area. Turgutreis Mayor Server Ali Yazgan said that after the swimming pools, the luxury villa of which they are a part would also be demolished inside a 25-meter perimeter. The owners of the villa, İzzet Akbaş and Alim Şaşmaz, have been levied a fine of YTL 5,000 and were issued a criminal report by the Bodrum Public Prosecutor. The demolition of the pool was monitored by archeologist Ece Benli Bağcı from the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology and Turgutreis Municipality science technician Üstün Diyarbakırlı.
During the demolition, which was controlled by the commission and was to be done with manual compressors and heavy construction equipment, a confrontation occurred. The subcontractors, Binali Karadeniz and Mehmet Ayata, and their team argued with the municipality's demolition crew.
The subcontractors said they still had a claim of YTL 10,000 to 15,000 for the villa. They said they reacted so strongly because they did not know anything about the demolition, asking why the municipality had not warned them earlier.
Yaşar Yıldız, chairman of Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology, said the demolition was ordered by the Commission for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage and the municipality to protect the ancient tombs of the Caria civilization.
Meanwhile, the mayor said, "We took all the legal actions and warned them right after the construction and today we are demolishing it. According to the plan of the commission of protection, we will also demolish the villa that is inside the 25-meter perimeter and near the tombs,� adding, �We won't allow anyone to build illegal constructions on grounds very close to history.�
Yazgan said the commission initially blamed the municipality, but that if they had cooperated from the start none of the problems would have arisen. �We will preserve the stone tombs the best way we can and by any means necessary," he added.
After the news of the pools and villa built on top of the stone tombs came out in the media, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay visited the construction site and said his ministry would also take proper precautions to preserve the site.