*Photo: OdtuSavunulmali / Twitter
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While the protests and students’ resistance against the planned state dorm construction in the poplar woods (Kavaklık) on the Middle East Technical University (METU) campus, land registration records revealed that the METU Development Foundation owns the rights of the land until 2034.
Releasing a statement on the matter, the foundation said that it did permit the construction of a dormitory by the Higher Education Credit and Hostels Institution (KYK).
Undersigned by Prof. Dr. Ramazan Aydın, the board chairperson of the foundation, the statement said:
“METU, one of the reputable and deep-rooted educational institutions of our country, has always preserved its principled stance as an educational institution that is republican, modern and loyally faithful to the principles of Atatürk. As the METU Development Institution, our mission is to support our university in every respect and protecting and Development its principles, traditions, culture and prestige.
“With regards to the efforts by the Credit and Hostels Institution to build a dormitory on the METU campus, as a response to the application made by the contractor company in the name of this institution to the Provincial Directorate of Environment and Urbanism, it is delivered via a letter that our we do not have consent for any construction on the cadastral parcels 156-158-159-160-161 the rights of usufruct of which is given to our foundation.
“As the METU Development Foundation, we wish such decision processes in our university to be run within the framework of the mutual consensus of all the components of our university.”
After the statement, Tezcan Candan from the Chamber of Architects, which filed a lawsuit against the construction, said in a tweet, “The protocol [for the construction] is invalid and those who open a tender and who signed it are criminals. Everything is in our favor legally in METU but we are vigilant in an unlawful process.” (AÖ/VK)
The police entered the METU campus on July 8 and dispersed the students who had been protesting the planned construction at the Kavaklık area for 55 days. Cutting of the trees in the 40-decare area began cut afterward. Although the cutting was stopped after meetings with the METU chancellor, most of the trees were already gone.
Officials the Çankaya District Municipality came to seal off the construction as it is unlicensed but they were blocked by the police. Çankaya Mayor Alper Taşdelen shared the documents that show the construction is unlicensed an unauthorized on social media and a minute was written on the situation.
Ankara Branch of the Chambers of Architects made an application to the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) for an investigation to be opened against METU President Verşan Kök.