Minister vows more city parks for entire Turkey

Minister vows more city parks for entire Turkey

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Minister vows more city parks for entire Turkey

One of Istanbul’s new parks will be in the Alibeyköy neighborhood. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Each province in Turkey will host at least one city forest park and big cities such as Istanbul will have two parks, Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroğlu has said recently.

An official from the Forestry and Waterworks Ministry told Hürriyet Daily News yesterday that 120 forest parks were planned in 81 provinces of Turkey as part of this project. More than 70 of these forest parks have been completed, the official also said, adding that the big cities like Istanbul would host more than one forest park. Istanbul will host two giant forest parks on its two sides; one to be located near the Alibeyköy Dam on the European side, the other near the Elmalı Dam on the Anatolian side. The Forestry and Waterworks Ministry and the Istanbul Greater Municipality are cooperating for these projects, which will be carried out according to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s instructions.

These parks will be located in the Sultangazi district on the European side and in Beykoz district on the Anatolian side of Istanbul.

The forest park on the European side is located near the Alibeyköy pond and will cover an area of 520 hectares. This park, located in the Sultangazi district, is planned by the Istanbul Greater Municipality, which will also oversee the renting process of the facilities that will be built in this area.

Minister vows more city parks for entire Turkey

The park’s construction is ongoing and certain parts have been completed, said an official from Sultangazi municipality. The project in the Mimar Sinan City Forest still continues and is located near the Hacı Bektaş-i Veli City Forests, which were completed in 2010, the official told Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. There are three football, two basketball, one tennis and one volleyball fields in the Mimar Sinan City Forest. There will be also picnic areas, an open theater area and entertainment facilities where children can spend time. The project started in Sultangazi three years ago and is still ongoing, according to the official.

The other forest park of Istanbul will be located in the Beykoz district on the city’s Anatolian side. It will be near the Elmalı Dam and plans for it are being overseen by the Forestry and Waterworks Ministry with coordination of the Beykoz Municipality. The ministry said that the forest park in Beykoz would be located on 878-hectare area around the Elmalı Dam Lake. It will include seven recreation areas, which are named after seven flowers.

There recreation areas will include bicycle paths and walking tracks. There will be an adventure facility at the area located near the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. The seven recreation areas will have seven gates. The area located at the center of these recreation areas will be allocated for wildlife. The Elmalı Dam Lake will be cleaned and seven bridges will be built to reach the walking tracks.

Barbecues will not be allowed within the forest parks, however, there will be restaurants and cafes offering catering to the visitors.