World Bulletin/News Desk
The US Embassy has asked to purchase a piece of land on which to build a new embassy following a bombing attack that targeted the embassy's current location in February.
Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) President Ahmet Haluk Karabel told reporters on Friday that officials from the embassy have applied through the Foreign Ministry to request a tract of land from TOKİ. Karabel said the law does allow TOKİ to sell land to foreign states.
“Their building on [Ankara's Atatürk] Boulevard is both crowded and small. They have security problems as well. They are looking for a larger piece of land. Their request arrived with us. If we agree on the conditions, we'll present it [the request] to the Prime Ministry. The Foreign Ministry needs to approve it as well. We have an [appropriate] piece of land in Çukurambar [a neighborhood in Ankara],” Karabel said. He added that the new embassy will not be built by TOKİ.
Property requests for diplomatic sites by foreign states are regulated by Article 21 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which was signed on April 18, 1961, and entered into force on April 24, 1964. In line with this convention, the US requested land from TOKİ via the Foreign Ministry.
TOKİ is considering selling the US a 37,000-square-meter tract of land in the Çukurambar neighborhood of Ankara's Çankaya district for the construction of its new embassy building. Karabel said the embassy is alternatively interested in obtaining a piece of land in Dikmen Valley.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at the entrance to the US Embassy in Ankara on Feb. 1, killing two people, including the assailant, and injuring a journalist. The explosion occurred at the security checkpoint at the entrance to the visa section of the embassy, killing a security guard.
The housing administration recently amended its regulations to make approval from the Foreign Ministry compulsory on all sales of property to be used as diplomatic missions of foreign states.
TOKİ has built more than 500,000 homes, among other buildings, across Turkey but is also active overseas. The administration will construct a new Türkevi (Turkish House) in New York on the instruction of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. A protocol was agreed between TOKİ and the Foreign Ministry on Jan. 5, 2012. The current Türkevi houses Turkey's permanent representative to the UN and the Turkish Consulate General; the new Türkevi will perform the same function.Last Mod: 11 Mayıs 2013, 09:59