Turkish PM defies court decision to halt construction of Prime Ministry
The Atatürk Forest Farm where the new Prime Ministry building is being constructed also houses a zoo, several small agricultural farms, greenhouses, restaurants, a dairy farm and a brewery.Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has challenged a court decision paving the way for the halt to construction of a new Prime Ministry complex in Ankara’s Atatürk Forest Farm, one of the Turkish capital’s oldest and most preserved green spots.
“We have done everything in line with the law and no one can break the law. No one can stop the construction of this building and no one can demolish it,” Erdoğan said during a meeting with local media representatives in Ankara March 5.
He also pointed the finger once again at the movement of the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen over the decision, as he did for the graft probes and the wiretappings.
“A decision has been made about the Prime Ministry building. But this building has been in the process of construction for a year. Feasibility work was conducted; its license, plans and projects were done in line with the legal procedures. So, this might be something related to the parallel structure,” Erdoğan said.
“I will not only conduct the opening ceremony, I will also work there,” he defiantly added.
The Atatürk Forest Farm where the new Prime Ministry building is constructed also houses a zoo, several small agricultural farms, greenhouses, restaurants, a dairy farm and a brewery.
The Ankara Regional Natural Reserves Commission had reduced the degree of protection for the forest’s seven hectares on Feb. 2, 2012, paving the way for the construction of a “White House”-style complex for the Turkish prime minister. After the Architects’ Chamber, the Chamber of Environmental Engineers, the Chamber of Urban Planners, the Chamber of Landscape Architects and the Chamber of Agricultural Engineers filed a complaint against the Culture Ministry to cancel the decision, the Prime Ministry intervened in the case to stand by the ministry.
However, the Ankara 11th Administrative Court ruled to uphold the protected status of the site on March 4. According to the ruling, the construction must be halted and the already-built structures must be razed.