Duvar English

An Ankara theme park that cost about $750 million to the Ankara Municipality under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is shut down, abandoned and rotting away only 15 months after it opened, news broadcaster FOX TV reported on June 24.

Opened in March 2019 with a ceremony that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke at, Ankapark’s (Wonderland Eurasia) management was granted to a private firm.

The theme park closed down in February 2020 due to electricity debts that management couldn’t afford, leaving hundreds of workers unemployed.

Ankara Mayor from main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Mansur Yavaş had said in a meeting recently that the previous municipal administration, led by Melih Gökçek, had spent funds on Ankapark instead of necessary infrastructure work in the city.

Gökçek (left) rides one of the roller coasters in Ankapark in this file photo.

“There’s emergency water and sewage work that needs to be done here. It’s urgent, not routine work. In previous years, these were overlooked to buy helicopters and dinosaurs for Ankapark,” Yavaş said.

In late May, the Ankara Municipality applied to the courts to report that management was in breach of contract for not carrying out their responsibilities about the theme park.

Ankapark was also controversial about its location, having been constructed on the Atatürk Forest Farm, owned by the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry.