Thirty or forty years ago, the Turks were not always renown for their stringent building regulations. Yet several pretty bad earthquakes and dozens of unnecessary innocent deaths soon put paid to that, and the government drew up some strict construction standards designed to protect the safety of the populace in their places of home and work. In many towns and cities, whole swathes of unregistered, unsafe houses and ‘gece kondu’ (literally, dwellings that sprung up overnight… yet are still standing there 40 years later) are being bulldozed to make safer, modern homes for the residents. Not only does this improve the security of the inhabitants, but more thought is also put into creating an environment which is attractive, and more in-keeping with the modern living standards.
The beach front in Altinkum has not escaped the bulldozers. This winter, business owners were told to, in a word, destroy the unsafe, unhealthy, slipshod structures that had been created year on year, layer on layer, depending on what the business owners could get away with the make every inch of a space more profitable. The result was a messy array of cluttered, shack-like shops and restaurants which gave the impression of a town on its uppers.
Well Didim is definitely not down on its uppers, but rather on the up. With a population of 73,000 (more on this subject in another blog) the council is taking firm and decisive action to bring the appearance of the town up to the standards required to draw a more international crowd with good spending power – by that we are looking at money to be spent in the town, not kept in their pockets at the all inclusive resorts and hotels.
I am looking forward to seeing this work completed, tidied and ready for the start of the 2015 summer season. In the meantime I have cut and pasted here a link to a short update video from Youtube, shot by a local expat. Enjoy.