Istanbul Municipality will be removing 77 plane trees from Istanbul’s Gezi Park on the grounds that they are infected with a fungus called ceratocystis platani, Anka Agency reported.
Some 77 trees are dried out, must be uprooted and replaced, the European Side Parks and Gardens Directorate of the municipality determined.
Municipal Director of Parks, Gardens and Greenery Prof. Yasin Çağatay touched on the symbolic meaning of Gezi Park: Located next to the central Taksim Square, the secluded garden was in 2013, the scene of the months-long anti-government protests that started because of a government plan to turn the park’s lot into a mall.
“Gezi Park was both witness to some of the most striking moments in the history of the Turkish Republic but also the source of the local greenery starting in the 1940s,” Çağatay said.
Çağatay noted that plane trees in other parts of Istanbul had the same fungus and that the only known solution was to remove the infected trees from the site.
“The longer we wait, the wider is the affected area and all plane trees in the area become infected,” Çağatay said.