Turkish Unrest Sparked by Tree Removal

Turkish Unrest Sparked by Tree Removal

Two and a half weeks of protests in Istambul, where thousands have taken to the streets to protest Prime Minister Erdogan, were initially prompted by urban green space… or lack thereof. It all began when a few sycamores got bulldozed in Gezi Park, a popular urban park in Istambul. Salon has an interview with Istanbul-based architecture critic, and protestor, Gökhan Karakuş. An interesting angle on this global event is how the park’s proximity to the Istanbul Technical University School of Architecture led to the genesis of the protests. Karakuş notes,

The whole thing happened in the middle of the day when people were at work, but since the school [of architecture] is close, faculty and students were there first, then quickly were joined by local neighborhood activists…

Gezi Park is… a green wedge in what is, basically, a crusty and thick urban fabric… I was in the park the week before the protests… and it struck me then seeing how many people were using it…

Its unfortunate that the Salon interview there is no mention of the fact that this is really LANDSCAPE architecture. However, a landscape architect’s voice on these events can be found on The Dirt; an article by Professor Sadik Artunc, FASLA, head of the department of landscape architecture at Mississippi State University, and a native of Turkey.

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