Road protests are not about the environment: Turkish PM
'It would be greatly unfair to depict us as the enemy of the environment and nature,' says Erdoğan. AA PhotoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described opposition to the mayoral decision to build a road through a university campus "as egotistical and fascistic," arguing that no one could compete with his government in environmental sensitivity.
“It would be greatly unfair to depict us as the enemy of the environment and nature ... Those who criticize us are not doing so because of their environmental sensitivities. We and our people see clearly that they all have other intentions,” Erdoğan said on Oct. 24 at the opening ceremony of a luxury residence and mall.
Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek’s decision to bypass the Middle Eastern Technical Universty’s (ÖDTÜ) campus, constructing a road and cutting down 3,000 trees, led to widespread condemnation. However, Erdoğan defended the decision and slammed the opponents of the plans.
“Saying ‘I do not want this, you cannot make it’ is not a democratic, respectful or libertarian move, but it is fascistic and egoistical. This is as wrong as fait accompli,” he stressed.
“No one can compete with us when it comes to environment,” Erdoğan argued, saying Turkey's green areas per head had doubled in the last 20 years, despite the fact that Ankara’s population had doubled in the same period.