Trees cut in night raid on Ankara State Theaters' campus

Trees cut in night raid on Ankara State Theaters' campus

Trees cut in night raid on Ankara State Theaters campus

Some 100 trees were cut down in a raid on the area of a theater.

The construction vehicles of a private company cut down nearly 100 trees early on April 7 and demolished part of the İrfan Şahinbaş Workshop Stage building, in an area that is owned by the Ankara-based General Directorate of State Theaters (DTGM).

The move marks a violation of a court ruling that ordered a stay of execution, according to DTGM Ankara chair Şekip Taşpınar.

A group of gunmen accompanied the vehicles and blocked the group of artists standing guard, Ali Hakan Beşen, a state theater artist said.

The Yenimahalle municipality had given a license to the construction company, which bought the land beside the stage’s facilities as part of the construction of a new business center, on condition of protection of the wooden area, Mayor Fethi Yaşar said on April 7. He added that the construction was securely protected, making the act unlawful and amounting to an attempt by the company just after the local elections to “take power from certain circles.”

Despite the stay of execution order for the construction, teams from the company came to the area late on March 8 and cut down nearly 400 trees.

Both actors and actresses and personnel working at the facilities gathered at the site on March 9 in protest at the move.