#City & Town Planning
Didim & Altinkum Belediye & Tapu Offices

There are some 10000 foreign residents living full or part-time in or near the Turkish Tourist Resort of Altinkum, which come under the office of the local council, Belediye and TAPU Office. The predominate number of foreign residents are British and many of these have chosen Turkey after substantial advertising in the UK by Invest in Turkey and goTurkey.

The area has quickly developed into a thriving mixed community, where people come to holiday or retire and most the businesses like banks, restaurants and supermarkets have understood that Turkish is a difficult language to learn for people of more advanced years so they have employed English speaking assistants to cater for, attract and provide customer service to this large English speaking community, who have invested their money and dreams in Turkey.

Sadly both the local council, Belediye and TAPU Offices in Didim who receive a vast revenue in taxes and water charges from the foreign residents have not followed the business lead and there is a great deal of frustration and many misunderstandings caused when dealing with simple matters, through language. In many instances both The Belediye and TAPU Office will not deal in person with residents without a translator being present and even the simplest of form or correspondence has to be translated, at a cost to the resident, which a Turkish resident would not be subjected to. Translators in Didim are not regulated so the costs and quality can vary and many residents have further problems brought on by poor translation or pay more because the translator has no understanding of The Belediye or TAPU Office procedures, leading to more frustration and cost to the resident, who has invested in the local area.

A simple solution for this problem would be for both The Belediye and TAPU Offices to employ a qualified translator for 2 mornings a week and for English speaking residents to book appointments in these periods. The income from foreign residents is substantial so the service should be free, though if not the petition is sure residents would be willing to contribute a small hourly fee in the knowledge that the service is fair, regulated and consistent.

It is suggested that any scheme should be trialled for 3 months, with feedback from individual residents who have used the service assessed to prove its value and effectiveness.

This petition understands fully that Turkish is a sovereign nation and the language of that nation is Turkish. It is also a fact that the Turkish Government and Didim Council have gone to great lengths to encourage foreign investment and that in this instance a small compromise to make foreign investors feel more secure and welcome would do a great deal to lesson many of the unpleasant tales people looking to visit or invest in Turkey are reading in local papers like Voices or on the internet and make new investors confident that they will be looked after and treated fairly once they get to Didim.

We the Undersigned call for Didim Belediye and TAPU Offices to employ a qualified English translator 2 mornings a week for a trial period of 3 months and should that trial be successful the service should be extended indefinitely.

The employment of translators would give current and future residents a consistent, cohesive and just translation service, helping resolve problems efficiently at the lowest level and assist in making investors or residents confident that they will be treated fairly, when dealing with the Belediye and TAPU Offices in Didim.

We fully understand that Turkish is the language of Turkey as Republic and that the request is made to provide assistance to the foreign residents who have invested in the local area of Didim and not in any way disrespectful to the Turkish national identity.

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The Translation Services at Didim Tapu & Belediye Office petition to Didim & Altinkum Belediye & Tapu Offices was written by Alec and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.