By Oktay Eksi
Istanbul, perhaps because it has a Mediterranean culture, is a very noisy city both day and night. Today I will tell you about an experience that is common to many Istanbul residents. I live in an opulent part of the city, and there a wealthy person owns a house close to where I live. This person invited my wife and me to the opening of his nearby nightclub. My wife on that night congratulated him on the opening, but said that we were concerned there might be some noise from the nightclub. He said that he would not tolerate the noise. That summer there was noise from the nightclub, but it wasn’t at a very high level.
The next summer the noise coming from the nightclub was much louder. We couldn’t sleep. Loud music came from the club until four in the morning. We called them and asked that they bring the noise level down so we could sleep better. They said they were not aware that there was such a disturbance and said they would bring the noise level down. The next day they sent flowers with an apology. But the loud noise continued, the flowers kept coming, and nothing changed.
The following summer I met the owner and told him that I would have to file a complaint because I could not solve the problem with him. I first went to the local police station and explained the problem to them. The Chief of Police said that it was not their job; and I would have to go to the Municipality. I went to the local Municipality and was told I
had to go to the metropolitan Municipality. The metropolitan Municipality told me that they would handle it; but their officers did not have the authority to fill out the necessary documents. They told me I had to go to the Governor’s Office.
I felt that I should get petitions from the other people living in the area and take measurements of the noise levels so that we would have a complete file before going to the Governor’s Office. We received many petitions from our neighbours, and I asked a professor from the technical university to take the measurements. A team from her department came to our home at night to measure the noise levels. Of course, their finding was incredible, unbearable noise; and they filed their report.
I went to the Governor with the petitions and measurement results. I explained the problem and asked for his help. He told me he would deal with this issue and asked the Director of the Environment to step in. The Director of the Environment said that his office would get to it, but they would have to have their own people do the measurements. They came another night and made measurements. Their measurements revealed excessive noise, and they said they would process a fine. A week later the noise was still going on. We called them again, they made measurements again, but nothing changed.
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