Parking lot project on Istanbul vegetable garden canceled after public uproar
The garden has become a symbolic spot for local activists, who planted their first seeds last May.A parking lot project planned on a public vegetable garden on Istanbul’s Asian side has been canceled following widespread criticism, officials said on Aug. 18.
The project was condemned by locals, particularly due to the fact that the garden, located in the Moda neighborhood of the Kadıköy district, was also designated as a gathering spot in the event of a natural disaster. In protest at the plans, locals had set up a camp in the area to prevent the construction works.
Following the protests, the Kadıköy mayor said he had applied to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality to request the cancelation of the construction permit given to a private investor.
In a public statement on Aug. 18, Kadıköy Municipality said the permit had been canceled following their request.
The garden has become a symbolic spot for the Caferağa Solidarity group, one of the many neighborhood forums set up during last summer’s Gezi Park protests. Activists had planted their first seeds at the site last May and were set to harvest their first produce when construction machines showed up. The garden is also known as an important shelter for the neighborhood’s stray cats.
On Aug. 17, activists have symbolically organized a commemoration for the 25th anniversary of the 1999 Marmara earthquake, attempting to raise awareness of the necessity to preserve gathering spots.