In the historical quarter of Antalya, where the sights of different eras and styles are located, and from where the popular coastal city began to grow, serious problems have arisen. We are talking about the Kaleici area: in the breakwater of the pier, built 39 years ago, dozens of cracks have formed, which are growing rapidly, which can lead to the collapse of the dam, which is used daily by tens of thousands of tourists. First, the experts sounded the alarm, and now the head of the Deniz Temiz Association (TURMEPA) in Antalya, Izzet Unlu, released a statement published by the Turkish media.
According to him, there is something to worry about. In Antalya, which throughout its history has seen many civilizations from the Hellenistic period to the present, a great danger has arisen at the historical site of Kaleiçi with a unique view of the marina and pier. Boaters, members of the Kaleiçi marina cooperative and TURMEPA Antalya branch managers found that 4 years ago, cracks began to form in the breakwater, where tens of thousands of local and foreign tourists gather every day to watch the sea and the marina. This year, measurements showed a significant increase in the width of the cracks. If in February last year the width was 10 centimeters, then a year later, in April 2022, it increased by more than 50% – up to 16 centimeters.
Historical background: part of the Kaleiçi marina was built back in 1960, the rest and infrastructure was built in 1983, and in 1986 the Golden Apple award was awarded, which is a world famous award for restoration work.
Experts saw the first cracks in 2018. “Since 2018, the breakwater of the Kaleiçi yacht harbor has begun to wear out heavily. Especially in the area where the Mermerli beach is located, the waves coming from the direction of Alanya – Manavgat caused the stones to collapse and disappear into the sea. The cracks were formed as a result of water pressure,” he said.
“Repair work should not be delayed too long, because there are negative examples of such masonry breakwaters in the world. In Greece, at the Zeya pier, a breakwater was destroyed by a wave and a disaster occurred. We call: “Come to us before we are on the brink of disaster, and let's do this work together. This is important from the point of view of life and property,” the expert added.
According to his observations, most of those who arrive at the airport and arrive at the Antalya bus station – the main resort center of Turkey – definitely visit Kaleici and the marina and note that “this is the heart of Antalya, one of the most important places in the world”: “Every day tens of thousands of people come here, it is a place that is visited a lot and which is important for its historical structure. The breakwater may collapse, we say SOS.”
On the other hand, accidents are already occurring due to cracks and slipping stones: “While walking, many people fall and get injured. Applications are received by the maritime police, ambulances arrive and take away the victims. There are dislocations of the legs, children fall into the sea, stones roll down. It's dangerous,” concluded Izzet Unlu.
The locals also ring the bells. According to the owner of the tourist boat, the condition of the breakwater and the dam is deplorable, there are stones everywhere, which are not visible from the ship. As a result, his boat was scratched on boulders several times. And now, when there is a high probability of collapse, the structure looks all the more unreliable, dangerous and requires intervention.
Due to the obvious danger, he called for the cooperation of governments, municipalities and non-governmental organizations to reorganize cracks and fallen into the water stones in the breakwater. This requires an emergency action plan, which will be developed by the commission in the coming days.
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