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A group of Fatih residents gathered July 8 to support the municipality's decision to build a park and a green area after demolishing the Yedikule gardens adjacent to Byzantine-era walls. DHA photo

A group of Fatih residents gathered July 8 to support the municipality's decision to build a park and a green area after demolishing the Yedikule gardens adjacent to Byzantine-era walls. DHA photo

Istanbul’s Fatih district municipality has decided to demolish the Yedikule gardens surrounded by Byzantine-era walls, as protests regarding the city’s Gezi Park continue.

Fatih Municipality, the owner of the gardens, has announced that it will build a park and a green area instead without publishing the details of the project.

Environmentalists and historians flocked to the area, where vegetable plots line the city walls, when claims that “rubble stones were poured on the garden” spread on social media July 8.

Fatih Municipality Mayor Mustafa Demir showed protesters at the gardens the plans for the project and said the work on the project had started in 2006, according to daily Taraf’s report.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality also issued a statement on the issue saying Istanbul was embracing a new green area and claiming the project aimed to create a giant park covering 90,000 square meters.

However a farmer who rented one of the gardens and asked to remain anonymous said the municipality had told him to evacuate the area a week before the protests and their efforts to object were only responded to with earth movers demolishing the area, according to Taraf.

Caroline Finkel, a historian, said the status of these gardens had allowed this area to remain as it was from the Ottoman Empire era until today.

The gardens, which are a UNESCO-protected site, lay along the old city walls and across the way from the Sea of Marmara and a different park of pathways and grassy areas that hugs the shoreline.

July/10/2013

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mara mcglothin

7/11/2013 6:27:56 PM

It appear -whatever they want MICHELE

michele suzanne

7/11/2013 3:48:49 AM

Dear God! - What ARE they doing!!!!!?

andrea dealmagro

7/10/2013 7:00:26 PM

How unconscionable! These are historic sites, irreplaceable once they are destroyed. That patrimony of Turkey is being demolished and though I believe parks are good, they should not be built on priceless historic property. It is as if the Istanbul municipal government is in a rush to convert Istanbul into just another big, dull city.

Tekir Feline

7/10/2013 6:26:57 PM

It might be ok to transform vegetable patches to a park, but it is not ok, to order this transformation with such a short notice period. A week before the protests, that was end of May! I suppose the farmer needs his garden to earn his living by selling vegetables on Istanbul's street markets. Instead of damaging his garden, the municipality should pay him the equivalent of his 2013 loss of earnings. Mr. Demir people are not your servants you can give orders as you like, respect this!

K M

7/10/2013 5:47:17 PM

Great, now they're tearing down UNESCO sites, even while lobbying for new ones? And another project with no plans? At this rate they'll not have to worry about a new airport for tourist needs.

Dave Chapman

7/10/2013 5:16:01 PM

I despair. Is nothing sacred?

mara mcglothin

7/10/2013 5:00:50 PM

Attention all Chapulcular-Next Stop Fatih District:Byzantine Gardens.
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