Ankara municipality starts night-time construction of controversial ODTÜ road, triggering protests
ANKARA - Doğan News Agency
The road construction teams and heavy duty machines entered the ODTÜ campus around 10 p.m. on the night of Oct. 18. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
The Ankara municipality has launched the construction of a controversial road project crossing through the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) campus.
The road construction teams and heavy duty machines entered the ODTÜ campus around 10 p.m. on the night of Oct. 18, the last day of the Feast of Sacrifice, triggering protests.
Some trees were cut down during the construction work, Doğan News Agency reported.
Many police officers were escorting the workers and floodlight projectors alongside a helicopter was used to lighten the construction site, the report added.
The sudden start of the road construction triggered a protest as demonstrators gathered via social media calls. Police resorted to tear gas to disperse the group, reports said.
The much criticized project, which threatens to destroy 3,000 trees, envisages the construction of two roads on ODTÜ land. One of the roads, the smaller one, will still be constructed as planned, while the second will be replaced by a tunnel to minimize environmental damage.
The police’s repeated crackdowns on protests with water cannons and tear gas stirred protests in solidarity across the country throughout the month of September.