Ankara Boulevard reopened after briefly closure

Ankara Boulevard reopened after briefly closure

Ankara Boulevard reopened after briefly closure

AA photo

A major thoroughfare in Ankara was closed to traffic on the morning of Aug. 17 before being opened later on the same day, after concrete blocks were installed at 28 separate points in the city to stop traffic from accessing the road as part of an environmental protection plan.

Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek said on Aug. 17 that a court had ruled for stay of execution of an earlier ruling that closed the road to traffic. The road was reopened to traffic after the latter ruling.    

The Ankara Metropolitan Municipality stated on Aug. 10 that the Atatürk Forest Farm (AOÇ), a previously protected area in the capital containing Turkey’s controversial presidential complex, would be blocked to vehicular traffic, in line with a ruling issued on July 13 by the Ankara 5th Administrative Court that annulled construction plans - including plans at the controversial presidential complex.

Accordingly, Ankara Boulevard, a 14.5-kilometer-long road running through the AOÇ with many access roads, was closed to traffic by municipality workers early on Aug. 17.

Some 350,000 vehicles use the Ankara Boulevard every day. The related court ruling was issued as part of a case filed by the Ankara Bar Association, along with several trade organizations under the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB).

The move came a month after the Council of State annulled decisions permitting the construction of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s presidential palace in the AOÇ, located in the capital’s Beştepe neighborhood, saying the construction was “unlawful” as the AOÇ was public property possessing a “special status.”

Last year, when confronted with allegations that his palace was illegal, Erdoğan dared opponents to come and demolish his gargantuan abode “if they are strong enough.”