ODTÜ plans have nothing to do with Ankara Mayor Gökçek: Minister
Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroğlu has underlined that the removal of of trees for ODTÜ road plan should not be considered as a result of an individual initiative by Gökçek. DHA PhotoA member of the Cabinet has felt the need to underline that the removal of hundreds of trees for a road construction project passing through the campus of Ankara’s Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) should not be considered as a result of an individual initiative by the capital city’s mayor, whose practices have been sparking wide criticism.
“ODTÜ indeed is Turkey’s center of science and knowledge. No one should allow the damaging of this really beautiful asset of ODTÜ. After all, this road was planned in the past. It has nothing to do with Melih Gökçek either,” Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroğlu said on Nov. 1 in response to questions from reporters.
“It was planned years ago,” Eroğlu said, recalling that the related zoning plan included the road construction.
“The trees that are suitable to be carried away have been carried away and the ones that were not suitable to be carried away have been cut down. ODTÜ asked for saplings from us. We said to our friends, ‘Immediately, as much as they want’. Hence, it is us who have given those saplings. Why not? Of course we would. Providing as many saplings as they would like to ODTÜ and to other universities is a significant duty and a source of pride for us. We provide saplings and we provide every kind of support. Our friends have been assisting,” Eroğlu elaborated, while, however, without going into detail about his note on Gökçek.