Police intervene against fresh protest in Ankara’s ODTÜ campus
ANKARA - Hürriyet
Police in Ankara intervened against around 400 demonstrators protesting the road project at ODTÜ's campus entrance, Sept. 19. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZA fresh night of protest in Ankara’s Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) on Sept. 19 ended with a police crackdown on demonstrators as amendments to a plan related to a disputed road project, which includes plans to construct road through the leafy campus area, are set to be approved by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry.
Around 400 demonstrators gathered at the A-4 entrance of the campus, nearby the road construction area, when police launched its intervention using tear gas and water cannons, echoing scenes of clashes that occurred during protests in the beginning of September.
Police also resorted to helicopters with spotlights to illuminate the campus while the intervention was taking place, daily Hürriyet reported.
Some of the demonstrators retaliated by throwing fireworks and stones, the report also said.
The road project, which will lead to the destruction of around 3,000 trees, has sparked protests that have intensified since Sept. 6.
The police’s repeated interventions in the protests with water cannons and tear gas have stirred supporting protests across the country over the past few weeks.
The project anticipates the construction of two roads on ODTÜ land. One of those roads, the smaller one, will still be conducted as planned, while the second will be replaced by a tunnel to minimize the environmental damage, the Environment and Urbanism Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar said.
ODTÜ’s campus has become an island of trees over the last few years after a construction boom in the surrounding area greatly increased local vehicular traffic.