A small park with a historic Ottoman past in Beyoğlu's Sütlüce was seized from the Istanbul Municipality and transferred to the Education Ministry.
The park, located between two roads, measures just 225 meters in length and 18 meters in width. The transfer was approved through votes from the city council's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members, who granted it to the ministry for 25 years free of charge.
However, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) council members have said that the area cannot be used as a school as it once served as an ammunition and gunpowder storage facility during the Ottoman era, and that traces of this historic structure can be found in the park today.
AKP city council member Faruk Gökkuş said that locals in the area urgently needed a school, while CHP city council member Süleyman Solmaz said that the park was not big enough enough to house one and reiterated that historic buildings were located within its boundaries.
Reports have indicated that the Ottoman-era ammunition and gunpowder storage facility ruins are registered as protected structures.