Syriac member of the Turkish Parliament Tuma Ҫelik asks questions about land transfers to government housing agency TOKI in Nusaybin, local village farmers are left out

ANKARA / MARDIN – The Turkish national housing agency TOKI, Toplu Konut İdaresi Başkanlığı in Turkish, is rapidly building houses for the Turkish population. Hundreds of thousands of new homes will be built in the coming five years under a state-run home ownership program. To be able to achieve these ambitious building plans, TOKI will have to purchase land plots at market value or ‘buy’ lands from the treasury, often against a symbolic 1 lira.

Syriac Member of Turkish Parliament Tuma Ҫelik has raised the question of such land purchases or transfers in Mardin Province, traditionally a Syriac heartland. He has asked written questions to Murat Kurum, the Minister of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, after having received information that the villagers in the Nusaybin district wanted to buy farmland from the Treasury’s National Real Estate Directorate but were unable because the land had already been transferred to the TOKI. After inquiring, the local National Real Estate Directorate confirmed that the lands had indeed been transferred.

Such transfers of lands to the TOKI prevent the villagers from being able to perform agriculture and animal husbandry in the region. Another aim of the villagers’ inquiry with the Syriac MP is also to investigate allegations that TOKI, which has as its primary goal the building of houses for citizens, sold these lands through a tender.

In this regards, MP Tuma Ҫelik asked the following questions to the Minister:

1 – How much land in Mardin is transferred to TOKI?

2 – How much land was transferred to TOKI in the Nusaybin district, Mardin Province?

3 – How much of these lands are sold, and how much are the total gains or costs?

4 – How many social housing units has TOKI built in Mardin?

5 – What efforts and support does your ministry offer to give local villagers who have been living in the region for years to be eligible for lands for agriculture and husbandry?