Irreversible environmental damage to Esentepe beach

Plans to construct 20 bungalows next to Esentepe public beach will create irreversible damage to the environment, Biologists’ Association President Niyazi Türkseven has said.

Two years ago, on what was an unspoiled beach, Esentepe Municipality bulldozed the sand dunes without planning permission and built a restaurant and volley ball court. Further work was halted with an interim court order and the council was fined the equivalent of two months’ minimum wages.

Esentepe Mayor Cemal Erdoğan acknowledged that the council had been fined but said that that was in the past and the council now has permission for the development from the Town Planning Department and the Monuments Department. A tender is going out for the construction of 20 bungalows. Seven bungalows will be built in the first phase, with the remainder to be constructed next year.

North Cyprus News - Esentepe beachSpeaking against the building work, President of the Biologists’ Association Niyazi Türkseven said that irreversible damage had already been done with the levelling of sand dunes destroying vegetation that the sea turtles (Carretta Carreta) feed on. “Asphalt paved to the seaside, a buffet and a restaurant were built, dunes with their natural vegetation were laid flat, walls were built around the volleyball court”, he said. Turtle nests were disturbed and when rainwater runs off the topsoil because the natural vegetation has been removed, mud will run into the sea and kill off plankton which is also food for the turtles, Türkseven said.

The environmental protection rules are not being respected and the damage is a disaster, he added.

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