I Will Be Up For Mayor For The 3rd Period
Ölüdeniz Mayor Keramettin Yılmaz announced he would be up for 2014 local elections and he said “I would like to serve another period.”
Keramettin Yılmaz was presented by Republican People’s Party in 2004 local elections. He was elected the Mayor of Ölüdeniz in 2004, and again in 2009, and he is serving since then. Yılmaz announced via our newspaper that he is up for 2014 local elections for the third time. He said, “Strictly speaking, I am up for mayor for the third period.”
Keramettin Yılmaz told of the works done at Ölüdeniz Municipality from infrastructure to culture, from tourism to sports and to cable car project. “As you already know, Ölüdeniz is a touristic resort, however, housing sales has come to the forefront besides tourism for almost 10 years. 2200 families have bought houses in Ölüdeniz and they keep living here. This has turned Ölüdeniz into a residential area and it is no more a place you come for a holiday for a couple of weeks. There are people who have come from different regions to buy property and to live here both in summer and in winter. Therefore, our winter population is already 15 thousand, yet, our share from the Provincial Bank is estimated for 5 thousand population.
Why do we collect our shares according to a population of five thousand?
The hotel employees are not considered as foreigners do not count. Only address-based Turkish natives residing in the dwellings are considered. In this case, the share we receive is inadequate. A municipality in Central Anatolia receives the same share with us while we serve at least 15 thousand people in winter and at least 50 thousand people in summer.
The major problem is infrastructure
The major problem for the residents and for the holiday makers in this region is the infrastructure.
As soon as we had the administration in 2004, we started the construction of sewage at Belceğiz in Ölüdeniz. We started the construction of a treatment plant. We paved all the roads and we have developed a beautiful touristic resort at Belceğiz. And what happened? Ölüdeniz has achieved 3 blue flags. Sewage and treatment plant were the most important ones in terms of getting the blue flag.
Ovacik is another crowded residential town. We started projects for sewage and water treatment plants since the first day we had the administration and then handed over to Provincial Bank. Rain water drainage project is currently about to run out through Provincial Bank. We work together with Provincial Bank again for Hisarönü treatment plant and it is almost completed. Of course, their costs are very high. This is a touristic resort and we have to complete the construction before the season starts. Tradesmen have no tolerance to loose a season. Therefore, you must have your money ready, need a very strong contractor and need to complete the job within 6 months.
We cannot do it even if we wait for 20 years
We applied to Provincial Bank in 2011 for the grant credits which the municipalities with a population under 10 thousand benefit. We were included in ths grant loan. Our sewage project is awaiting at Provincial Bank at the moment. With the budget of the municipality, or the municipal income, we than twenty years, we can not do it even if we wait for 20 years. We have a certain annula expenditure; personnel expenses, oil expenses, daily municipal affairs, paying our own taxes, paying insurance, collect garbage, we provide clean water, doing environmental cleaning. Our budget can cover only these.
We cannot make an investment of 20 million with our municipal budget even if we wait for 20 years. When our minister Ertuğrul Günay was here, We handed our files, and also reminded him. He indicated that they would help us in the shortest time. As soon as the sewage and the treatment plant is completed, all roads will be scratched and paved again. If we can make the sewage and the treatment plant through Provincial Bank, then we can afford to pave the roads ourselves. My absolute goal for this summer is to have this tender for the sewer. Because of these deficiencies, we had too many criticism in recent years.
Foreigners have problems, too
Foreigners who live in our region and experiencing problems keep asking for this sewage. We do landscaping, collect garbage on a regular basis. We renewed clean water line and eliminated water-related problems. We opened our roads and our goal is to pave them all, and to solve the infrastructure problem.
Tourism in Turkey has started in 80’ies
Tourism in Turkey has started in 80’ies and developed in Ölüdeniz, Fethiye and Göcek in 90’ies. We do not experience any problems in marketing Ölüdeniz hotels. The average for Ölüdeniz has always been higher compared to other regions in Turkey. Hotel occupancy rates are well. Renovation has started in our hotels in the last 3 years. This year we have 3 more new hotel investment. If our hotels are clean, comfortable and successful in terms of service, happy holiday makers will come back again. We have customers coming here every year on a regular basis since 1986. Belceğiz beach wins awards in various branches every year. Our hotels in the region get better degrees in polls. These are reflected in hotel occupancy rates. We expect a season of 2012 with eighty one percent occupancy.
We are the best in paragliding
Ölüdeniz was often in the agenda in terms of paragliding, too. We introduced paragliding to all Turkey from Ölüdeniz, and all paragliders in Turkey were brought up in Ölüdeniz. We are very proud of this. Since Fethiye Chamber of Commerce is now running Babadağ, they are working on cable car project. When it is completed, it will provide a huge economic contribution to Fethiye and Ölüdeniz. People are not only interested in sea, sand and sun, sports tourism and cultural tourism began to improve and there is a serious demand. If we had the cable car, we would have both summer and winter tourism this year. This project is supported by all agencies and municipalities. Our Chamber of Commerce undertook this work project and hopefully, it will be ready in 2014.
We opened Culture and Art Schools
Since 2004, we opened Culture and Art Schools as social municipalism and we have employed a
director of culture for these schools. We are in cooperation and dialogue wit all foreigners living here. Our Turkish courses are currently in progress. They have formed a union. They visit us quite often to tell us thir needs. We have a British band who sings and dances Turkish Folkloric music. They are famous in Turkey and participate in several festival across the country. They come to tourism conventions with us to promote Turkey. Our culture and art festival which we organize by the end of June each year, continues. International paragliding aerobatic contest continues in the same way which we have started last May. In addition, we have a Ölüdeniz Sports Club, and they are very successful. Gymnastics club, cycling club and boxing team are all active. We surely celebrate our national days and we spend a full, joyous year.
I will be up for the third period
I will be up for the third period in 2014 local elections. My initial plan was to serve for two periods, however, I must confess that I am thinking of one more season. There is a new formation as a municipality in Muğla. Our prime minister announced that 11 provinces will be metropolitan municipalities in Turkey. This is supposed to be legalized by 2012. When Muğla becomes a metropolitan, what will apply within the boundaries of the province, or what our position will be, we just wonder. We hope to stay as a town municipality and have a new round of elections, but surely our people will have the final decision.