Construction plan on green area in western Istanbul sparks protests
ISTANBULThe claim that the municipality of Istanbul’s coastal Büyükçekmece district plan to construct on 30,000-square-meter green area by the sea has drawn criticisms and protests from Büyükçekmece residents and rights groups, daily Hürriyet has reported.
Representatives from Resist Büyükçekmece Platform, an environmental rights advocate group, claimed trees were cut in the green area called “Albatros Park,” which is owned by the municipality.
Resist Büyükçekmece Platform representatives held a sit-in with tents erected in the park, in protest against the construction plan for nearly a month, but were dispersed after police officers and municipal police forces intervened.
The park is now fenced by wires and police officers waiting at its entry, with civilians denied access to the park.
A group of around 40 protesters, including representatives of the Istanbul City Defense, Northern Forests Defense and the Resist Büyükçekmece Platform – all environmental rights groups and non-governmental organizations – held a demonstration to protest the construction outside the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul Bureau in Istanbul’s Levent neighborhood around 7 p.m. on Oct. 7, Doğan News Agency reported.
The protest was held outside a local CHP building as Büyükçekmece Mayor Hasan Akgün was elected from the CHP in the local elections of March this year.
The group called on Akgün to keep Albatros Park a green area.
“Immediate action should be taken to recover already-cut trees [on the Albatros Park],” said İlker Kolukısa, a spokesperson of the protestors said, adding that the only green area in Büyükçekmece was Albatros Park.
“Barbed wire fenced around the park as well as iron bars at its gates should be removed. The park should be open for public use,” Kolukısa added.