Ankara stages fresh ‘tree’ protest
DHA photoResidents of the Yenimahalle district of Ankara protested the removal of trees by the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality to install a station for an upcoming cableway project, soon culminating in a police intervention on the night of July 23.
On July 21 around 3 a.m. municipality workers arrived at the scene to remove the trees, sparking the protest wave in Yenimahalle. Trees have become symbols of resistance with the Gezi protests, as massive rallies kicked off in late May when trees in Gezi Park were to be removed to rebuild the Artillery Barracks (Topçu Kışlası).
Anadolu Agency reported that there were a total of 35 trees being “uprooted” in Yenimahalle, particularly not referring to the action as “cutting down.” The crowd initiated a sit-in protest, Anadolu reported late July 23.
After an announcement that the protest was illegal, the police intervened with water cannons and tear gas around 11 p.m.
While sendika.org reported that the trees were between 40 and 50 years old and Yunus Emre was a “park,” Anadolu referred the area as Yunus Emre “green field.”
After midnight, the crowd dispersed, vowing to meet again the next day, sendika.org reported.