In the Meşelik Neighborhood of Milas district in Muğla, located on the allocated land, LUJO and La Blanche Island were claimed to have built villas on the areas that burned down in the great fire of 2022, sparking controversy.

According to the report by Yaşar Anter from Sözcü newspaper, Serkoç Hotel Management, the owner of Lujo, which was allocated a neighboring Treasury land of 25,000 square meters seen as 'forested area' in the land registry records from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, started constructing 28 villas with the appearance of touristic facilities.

These luxury residences, with sizes ranging from 580 to 680 square meters, feature sea views, jacuzzis and sunbeds on the balcony, heated private pools, and private sunbathing areas.

"Lost its forest characteristic"

LUJO Hotel Administrative Affairs Manager Necmettin Bozan told Sözcü: "This land is 25,000 square meters and was allocated from the Ministry of Forestry to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as a tourism area. We obtained it as an allocation in 2021. We postponed the project due to the large fires in the region in 2022. Then, after obtaining construction permits and all approvals from the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, and Milas Municipality, we started the project."

Neighbor project also expanded

As the villa constructions continue at LUJO Hotel, villas have recently replaced the landscape areas at La Blanche Island, the neighboring hotel. The owner and operator of the hotel, Kadir Çankırı, stated that the villas, which cost an average of 75,000 lira per night, comply with the approved project: "When we were constructing the hotel, we obtained the necessary EIA reports. The license of the project already included residences and the hotel. We completed the hotel construction and opened it for service first. We did not make any construction without license or approval. Everything proceeded in accordance with the laws."

The Ministry of Forestry also made a statement

A statement was also made by the General Directorate of Forestry, affiliated with the Ministry of Forestry, regarding the allegations. The statement suggested that the construction area was not the same as the burned area and emphasized that the burned forest areas are constitutionally protected.

The statement from the General Directorate of Forestry on the subject is as follows:

“In response to the social media shares stating "In Muğla's Milas District, they have started planting hotel saplings on the forested land that turned to ash 3 years ago," it is deemed appropriate by the General Directorate of Forestry to make the following statement.

The images used in the news of "In Muğla's Milas District, they have started planting hotel saplings on the forested land that turned to ash 3 years ago" do not belong to the areas affected by the forest fire.

The area seen in the video shared on social media belongs to a hotel in Bodrum and is located within the "Muğla Bodrum Türkbükü East Tourism Area" declared as a tourism area by the Council of Ministers decision in 1987.

This hotel has been in service since the early 2000s. The images in the mentioned shares belong to the ongoing renovation construction.

The area that burned in the forest fire in Güvercinlik in July 2021 and was then completely reforested is located 15 km away as the crow flies.

Burned forest areas are constitutionally protected, and reforestation works are carried out after forest fires. They cannot be used for any other purpose, and there is not a single example of this. The news does not reflect the truth.”