WWF Stands Up For Taksim Gezi Park

Istanbul, Turkey – WWF-Turkey supports the demonstrations at Taksim Gezi Park and the people who want to protect Istanbul’s natural heritage and avoid further uncontrolled and unsustainable development in the city, such as the shopping mall that is proposed for construction in the park. 
WWF-Turkey also calls on the government to respect and preserve Istanbul’s natural habitat.

“Standing up for Taksim Gezi Park means ensuring a future where people live in harmony with nature. Istanbul is running out of breath. We don’t need more shopping malls but we do need more parks and green spaces in this city”, said Tolga Bastak, CEO of WWF-Turkey.

“Since current investment decisions focus on short-term economic profits, this would destroy the last standing park in the heart of the city,” said Bastak. 

“We are destroying the cultural and natural assets that make Istanbul a living city. That needs to stop. We need to support a sustainable life which is in harmony with nature, and respect everybody’s right to defend the fundamental human need for natural spaces over the uncontrolled pursuit of unsustainable projects”.

Nature in Turkey has never faced such a threat since the establishment of the Republic. 

WWF-Turkey is very concerned about the latest regulations and decisions taken in Istanbul and all around the country, and it calls on the government to consider environmental and social impacts when planning and approving their projects and policies. 

WWF will continue to closely follow latest developments.