Fire breaks out at Atatürk Forest Farm

Fire breaks out at Atatürk Forest Farm

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Fire breaks out at Atatürk Forest Farm

AA Photo

A fire broke out at the Atatürk Forest Farm in Ankara on Aug. 17, destroying a large number of trees. The cause of the blaze has yet to be found.

Firefighting teams brought the fire under control around one hour after it erupted in a forested area near to where a huge new Prime Ministry complex is being built.

Teams from the Ankara Forestry General Directorate also participated in efforts to extinguish the fire, and it was announce that a turtle was rescued and released back into a safe part of the forest after being washed with cold water by firefighters.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire. Atatürk Forest Fire recently came to the agenda after the construction of a new Prime Ministry complex.

The Ankara Regional Natural Reserves Commission had reduced the degree of protection for the forest’s seven hectares on Feb. 2, 2012, paving the way for the construction of a “White House”-style complex for the Turkish prime minister.

Often referred to as “the lungs of Ankara,” the forest is an expansive recreational farming area that houses a zoo, several small agricultural farms, greenhouses, restaurants, a dairy farm and a brewery. The farm’s name is a tribute to its founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

The Court of Accounts had earlier stated in a 2012 report that the historic farm and the heritage of Atatürk had been misused.