Duvar EnglishLand rented for mosque construction on iconic Atatürk Forest Farm to be kept as a park
An Ankara administrative court halted a construction plan that would take up four parcels of the Atatürk Forest Farm, an iconic green space for not only the capital, but the whole country.
Upon an appeal by the Turkish Architects Chamber's Ankara branch, the administrative court ruled that the parcels' use by the Housing Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) would contradict the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.
"We have 150 ongoing cases concerning the Atatürk Forest Farm property. It's illegal to construct anything that will go against Atatürk's conditional bequest," said Ankara Architects' Chamber Chair Tezcan Karakuş Candan.
While the construction plans for Gazi University claimed to fall outside Atatürk Forest Farm land, the court ruled that it did in fact take up public land, and halted construction on the grounds that the plan aimed for profit, instead of public benefit.
Candan added that the Presidential Palace was constructed illegally on Atatürk Forest Farm land, along with the United States Embassy.
However, environmental activists' efforts to halt construction on the farmland succeeded in certain instances, like the blocking of a mosque construction on the property in April.Company constructs wedding hall in Ankara's iconic Atatürk Forest Farm land