Main opposition deputy shares photos of cut-down trees from Taksim’s symbolic Gezi Park
ISTANBULMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Tuncay Özkan shared via his personal Twitter account photos of cut down trees in Istanbul’s symbolic Gezi Park next to Taksim Square on Aug. 2, describing it as a “massacre of trees.”
“A massacre of trees in Gezi Park… Why play with society’s nerve endings? Why are these trees bothering you so much?” wrote Özkan, addressing the authorities responsible for cutting down the trees.
“We chopped down trees that had dried or had decayed,” said municipal workers at the park when asked by locals why the trees had been cut down, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Aug. 3.
Around 50 trees, including 10 plane trees, 18 oak trees, 17 linden trees and five olive trees were previously planted by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality teams at Taksim Square as part of an ongoing landscape project.
On May 28, Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan told reporters that the teams will also plant trees in the future on nearby İstiklal Avenue once infrastructure works there are completed.
Gezi Park was at the center of a large civil uprising in Turkey in 2013, after a small group of protesters refused to leave the park on May 27, 2013, to prevent the cutting down of trees for replacement by a mall planned by the government.
Following the police response, protests spread across the whole country on May 31, 2013. Eight young people were killed during the protests.