Gas pipeline blows up a 12-million lira project .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - Istanbul’s Pendik coast was to become a bazaar and entertainment center with an investment of 12 million Turkish Liras. Yet, the opening was not allowed because of a natural gas pipeline running underneath the area.

An area designed to become a bazaar and entertainment center in Istanbul's Pendik district with a budget of 12 million Turkish Liras cannot open because of a natural gas pipeline running underneath it. All the money spent on the facility has gone to waste.

The Turkish Oil Pipelines Corporation, or BOTAŞ, did not allow the opening of the bazaar built on a natural gas pipeline four years ago because of security reasons.

The area was going to be the second biggest market place in Istanbul with the latest designer tents. The project was planned by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and is one of the biggest examples of how a project and money can go to waste. The bazaar was to be open on Saturdays on the Pendik coast and have eight large and 14 small steel tents. Other than Saturdays, it was planned for the area to host activities, such as volleyball, basketball, open-air cinema and carting.

When the construction started four years ago it was known that there was a natural gas pipeline beneath the land.

The area consists of 40,000 square meters and 22,000 square meters of the area is covered with tents. In addition to the market place, the project also included indoor shops, rest areas, green space, a car park, toilets and a building for municipal police.

The metropolitan’s bazaar project was proudly announced to public by the Pendik Municipality.

Security criteria
BOTAŞ officers said the project was stopped two years ago because of the natural gas pipeline beneath the tents, reported daily Milliyet. The officers said the Pendik bazaar place and car park was stopped on legal grounds, as it did not meet the security criteria relevant to the natural gas pipeline. Stating that they had warned the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, officers said it was not possible to allow construction on ground above a pipeline.

"The construction of the area interferes with the technical security of the pipeline and has been stopped. It is the responsibility of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality to revise the project and clear the area that is incompatible," an officer said.

Although the project was stopped by BOTAŞ, the huge tents are still standing along Pendik’s coast. The tents have been left to their destiny and are an eyesore.

Member of the Pendik Municipality, Şenol Özcan, from the Republican People's Party, or CHP, said as the city has been chosen as the European Capital of Culture, unplanned and unsuitable projects were being launched. "No one thought about the infrastructure and legal situation in the area. The luxurious hotel, whose construction is still ongoing in the same area, and apartment projects, did not take this into account, even though everyone knew about the pipeline," Özcan said.