Aydos Forest in Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli district will be turned into a “picnic area” with the construction of restaurants, convenience stores, cafes, dressing rooms, toilets, walking areas and a parking lot, according to the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry
The protected forest, which lies between Sultanbeyli and Kartal and which is the only place that the Istanbul Çiğdemi – also known by its full name in Latin, Crocus olivieri istanbulensis – is found in the world, will become home to recreational facilities as part of a ministry plan, Doğan News Agency reported March 24.
The plan regarding Aydos Castle and the area surrounding it encompasses nearly 39.6 hectares of space. The plan states that the Aydos Castle and the area around it, which is a first-degree natural and cultural protected area, are home to endemic plants and flowers.
The plan was formed as restoration on Aydos Castle, which began in 2010, is now drawing to a close.
“When the efforts are completed regarding Aydos Castle, which is situated in a natural forest and is easy to reach, the site will be a historical one that local and foreign tourists, who love nature and who gravitate toward cultural tourism other than the Historic Peninsula, can visit,” the project report said, adding that environmental planning would be conducted after restoration works are completed.
Speaking about the plan, the Kanlıca Forest Management Directorate said the area could not be subjected to construction and that the plan should exclude the forest area.
The Istanbul Çiğdemi was discovered and introduced to the world by British scientist Brian Mathew in 1982. It normally blossoms in February. Typically just 20 to 30 plants are found in the woods each year.