Road construction in ODTÜ to pass through natural site area

Road construction in ODTÜ to pass through natural site area

ANKARA – Hürriyet
Road construction in ODTÜ to pass through natural site area

DHA Photo

An Ankara road that would cross through the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) campus, causing the destruction of part of the university’s forestry area, will pass through a first degree natural site area, according to recently revealed documents.

The Culture and Tourism ministry’s Ankara Culture and Nature protection Board’s decision on March 6, 1995 says that the area inside ODTÜ’s campus is a natural site area. Some areas in the campus are declared as archeological site areas, while some others as natural site areas.

The construction of a planned road project connecting Anadolu Boulevard and Konya Highway, which will cross the ODTÜ campus and lead to the cutting down of trees on its way, caused protests in Ankara.

Ankara Greater Municipality’s decision on the road construction also confirms that the road is planned to cross through the natural site area located within the university’s campus.

Ankara Greater Municipality council’s decision on March 15, 2013, signed by Mayor Melih Gökçek, says that the project enters “natural site area for around 9,000 meters area at the Dumlupınar crossroads, also entering at the ODTÜ 1 forestry area, an area of around 8,000 meters. There are partial properties of the ODTÜ and 5,000 meters of private property along the route.”

Ankara Greater Municipality applied to the Environment and Urbanization Ministry to allow the route to cross the natural site area. The construction has already started in the area outside of the natural site area. The ministry’s decision is awaited to start the construction on the natural site area.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry used to take decisions on the natural site areas; however, after legislative decrees taken on June 29, 2011, and Aug. 17, 2011, the decisions regarding these areas have come under the Environment and Urbanization Ministry’s authority.

Meanwhile, the Chambers of Architects Ankara branch head Ali Hakkan said they would file a complaint against the construction, adding that they had ascertained that 7,300 trees would be cut for the project.

A protest started in the campus on Aug. 25 and demonstrators refused on Aug. 26 to leave the area to prevent the construction.