Kuğulu Park’s swans evacuated due to tear gas in Ankara
Hürriyet PhotoSwans in Ankara’s Kuğulu Park that have been affected by police tear gas amid the ongoing Taksim Gezi Park demonstrators have been transported to an animal shelter by Çankaya Municipality.
A total of 35 animals consisting of swans, ducks and geese were brought to a shelter in Mühye to receive treatment, daily Hürriyet reported June 3. The animals will be returned to their place once the protests come to an end, officials said.
The municipality took action following warnings by social media users worried about the swans’ health. Buğra Gökçe, the deputy mayor of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, also took to social media to announce the evacuation of the animals as he posted a related message on his Twitter account late June 3 following related news reports in the media.
The swans, who are a symbol of Ankara, also gave their name to the park, as a literal translation of Kuğulu Park is “park with swans.”
Kuğulu Park has been a major meeting point for protesters in Ankara during the latest demonstrations sweeping the country. The area was turned into a park back in 1958.
The Gezi Park unrest is not the first time that the park has been a venue for protests. Back in early 2011, citizens, mostly young people who organized via social networking website Facebook, gathered in the park. They held a protest on then-launched regulations on alcohol and smoking by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government by drinking alcohol in public.