3,000 trees in Ankara's Middle East Technical University to be cut in road plan

3,000 trees in Ankara's Middle East Technical University to be cut in road plan

ANKARA - Doğan News Agency
3,000 trees in Ankaras Middle East Technical University to be cut in road plan

A group of ODTÜ students march in protest of a planned road construction in this file photo. DHA photo

The Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) Rector’s Office said in a written statement Sept. 4 that around 3,000 trees would be affected inside the campus due to a controversial road construction project.

Some 629 coniferous trees, 292 pine trees, 133 ash trees, 916 wild pears, 293 almond trees, 58 poplar trees and 696 other type of trees will be cut as part of the project, according to the statement.
A 1.8 kilometer section of Anadolu Boulevard that would pass through ODTÜ property, which had been set to become part of the road connecting the Konya and Eskişehir highways, has not been planted since the 1980s.

The statement said there were two separate roads planned to cross the university’s campus, and that the university was against just one of these roads. “It is understood from media reports that these two roads are being confused with each other,” it said.

“ODTÜ allowed the continuation of Anadolu Boleuvard to pass from its eastern border in a decision taken in 1994. The road construction that ODTÜ does not approve is a second road added to the “Ankara structural plan for 2023” in 2007, by the Ankara Municipality,” the statement added.

“This second road crosses from the campus’ gate at Bilkent Road and divides the campus as east and west into two parts. ODTÜ filed a lawsuit against this road plan, which will divide the campus into two, damage the educational and research buildings, as well as infrastructure, will create a risk to life and property, and will damage the natural protected site areas,” said the university statement.

The local court decided in favor of ODTÜ but the Ankara Municipality appealed the case. However, the council of state approved the local court’s decision and canceled the construction of the second road.

The construction of the planned road project has caused a strong backlash among students in Ankara, prompting environmental demonstrations to be staged in the area.