İBB President Ekrem İmamoğlu opened the Yakuplu City Forest of 50 thousand square meters. Emphasizing that their aim is to create a green and livable city, İmamoğlu underlined that green projects are "national", not projects like Concrete Canal. “It is not the channel in the matter called 'The Channel'; these buildings to be erected to the right and left. That's the point. Saying that the issue is emotional again, İmamoğlu said, “We cannot tolerate that job. Istanbul has come this far. We can't stand here. With the authority in your hand, you cannot put the future of the city of Istanbul in trouble. You cannot put Turkey's future under threat. You cannot destroy the Sea of Marmara," he said.
Ekrem İmamoğlu opened the oak grove area in Yakuplu, which he aspires to during the period of Beylikdüzü Mayoralty, but was allocated to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality by the central administration, under the title of “Yakuplu Urban Forest” as the Mayor of IMM. Beylikdüzü Mayor Mehmet Murat Çalık and Esenyurt Mayor Kemal Deniz Bozkurt accompanied İmamoğlu at the opening. Beylikdüzü said to its neighbors, “It's nice, isn't it? I loved it very much, I don't know if you liked it too”, İmamoğlu told about a very interesting memory of the Yakuplu City Forest as follows:
TOLD THE STORY OF YAKUPLU
“Sometimes when he touches on these memories, that is, does he have a memory everywhere; is happening. It happens in Beylikdüzü. Especially in this latest political process, unfortunately, it does not surprise us. We heard that this forest will be put out to tender… Our headman, Yüksel Kol from Yakup, is the closest witness to this, the people of Yakuplu are witnesses. 'Sir, it will go out to tender...' A study on a health field was discussed here before. The people started a campaign here, saying, 'This country needs nature, greenery and forests now'. Our Home Beylikdüzü Association has collected thousands, even more than 10 thousand signatures. They went to the minister's door and told the minister that this process was wrong. Even at that time, Mr. Akif Hamzaçebi (Istanbul Deputy) accompanied him. Our council members visited and talked with our current Parliamentary Group Deputy Chairman Doğan Bey (Subaşı). This place was going to open tender for private enterprise. One day before the tender, the tender was cancelled. God bless you; At least, the Minister of Forestry of that period took into account our reaction, the reaction of the citizens, and canceled it. Right after, as the Mayor of Beylikdüzü, we sent a letter saying, 'Give this place to Beylikdüzü and we will protect and develop this place in the same forest state, and make it a sports field and so on'. Of course, they did not respond to our letter. A month later, they said, 'We are not giving this place to you as the Beylikdüzü Municipality, but we are giving it to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality'. When we did so, we got a little angry and won the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. The joke is of course, but after we won the IMM Presidency, we immediately discussed this place with my friends and designed a project.”
“WE SAVE THE OAK HERE”
Sharing the knowledge that the area to be opened is a historical forest consisting of oak trees, İmamoğlu said, “You see our oak trees that are very old. Let's say this sadly; we actually saved the oak tree here. In fact, we lost many oaks here, especially due to the dense construction in the surrounding area, the diversion of the waters, and the problems with drainage. With a serious infrastructure, a tight drainage system here, the life of the trees here is now saved. Hundreds of adult trees were planted, new trees were planted; mainly oak.
In other words, we have brought a forest that was about to disappear into the future as a forest again. What is it measured with, how is it measured? It cannot be measured by anything. Shall I tell you the size? Look at the view right in front of you. There is a view there. You will see those big concretes that look like a forest there. That's Esenyurt. And unfortunately, you see the district where one of Turkey's deepest reconstruction disasters took place. I personally witnessed the year 32-33. There I experienced step by step how this evil was done. I also expressed my reactions from time to time, even though I do not live here. Now, for God's sake, I ask you; Is she beautiful or is this beautiful?
“WE WILL START THE 'RETURN' OF ESENYURT”
Pointing out that Esenyurt Mayor Kemal Deniz Bozkurt took over a great challenge, İmamoğlu said, “It's a huge challenge; it's not like that. He took over a center where 60-70 thousand people migrated and settled in a year. We will be with you with all our strength. Together with my esteemed President, we will organize the 'U-turn' of Esenyurt, the process of how we can become a happy city again. His job is very difficult; I know, but we will make it. Kemal Deniz, my President, will also succeed. The people of Esenyurt should help. Together, we will succeed by making people turn from wrong with social solidarity, by telling in some places and by giving lessons. There is a deep poverty, a deep concentration of refugees. Why am I telling this? He said: "Life is beautiful like that."
“YOU ARE DOING WRONG; BACK FROM THE ERROR”
Emphasizing that their aim is to create a green and livable city, İmamoğlu continued his speech as follows.
“'Sir, we will build a canal, Istanbul will be saved. It's a national project.' For God's sake; Is there a more national project than this one? Protecting nature is protecting life. To protect and develop nature, to enlarge green areas, to save the future. Look, it's that clear. The world's top priority right now is to protect the green and fight against global warming. Because wrongdoing against nature is a security issue; life threatening. In that respect, let me underline what has been promised to us: It is not the channel in the matter called 'Channel'; these buildings to be erected to the right and left… That's the point. Again, it's emotional. We can't stand that job. Istanbul has come this far. We can't stand here. It's not a show. For God's sake, don't. But look, this happens. 'Sir, we are making people's gardens,' God bless you. Do more. Make more green spaces; but don't do that. Revert from this mistake. We insist, we beg you, turn from your mistake. You are doing it wrong. With the authority in your hand, you cannot put the future of the city of Istanbul in trouble. You cannot put Turkey's future under threat. You cannot destroy the Sea of Marmara. There are many reasons. So from here, I have to deliver this deep message.”
“OUR INVESTMENTS RELATED TO GREEN ARE GOING STRONG”
Saying, “Our investments in green are going very strongly,” İmamoğlu said, “We will bring millions of square meters to this city. We will work from the east to the west in Istanbul, just as we are working to develop such areas, make them more livable and entrust the future, both in Beylikdüzü and Esenyurt. I'll finish talking in a little while. From here, I will go to Tuzla by sea. From one end to the other. We will talk about these things there. Protection of the environment… I have meetings in the organized industry. We have a process to save a pond there. We will go over many issues and continue to work there,” he said.
“ISTANBUL TAKES A VERY BEAUTIFUL ROAD”
Emphasizing that Istanbul has entered a very beautiful path, İmamoğlu said, “Everything will be very good in Istanbul. Do you know where I get this belief, this courage, this determination? In my childhood, when I let myself go down the hill to the sea in a meadow just like this, I grew up taking in that full of oxygen, either I felt that nature or my courage comes from there. All my naturalness, all my sincerity comes from there. Here in this meadow, the children of this region will roll in the grass. They will run down that hill. They will enjoy being free, determined, knowledgeable, respectful to nature, being aware that the world will become more beautiful when people love each other, and this is how we give the best gift to the new generation. How happy we are. I would like to thank everyone who contributed,” he said.
ÇALIK: “IN ISTANBUL, THERE IS AN IMM WORKING IN COORDINATE WITH DISTRICT MUNICIPALITIES”
Beylikdüzü Mayor Çalık also used the following expressions in his speech: “Today, we once again realize how great power is coordination and the synergy arising from coordination. Because; Now there is a Metropolitan Municipality in Istanbul, which does not fight with district municipalities, but cooperates and works in coordination. This is a great chance for both Beylikdüzü and Istanbul. We experience the power and happiness of working with Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and creating synergy. Thanks to this, we have accomplished very important works in Beylikdüzü. We have made progress in many areas from infrastructure to superstructure and transportation. We said that Beylikdüzü will be the breath of Istanbul. There is a breath in the culture and art activities we carry out. There is a breath in the parks we build. There is breath in our gardens of life. We; We want to raise generations that do not fight with nature, but live in harmony with nature. For this, we adopt urban planning that is compatible with nature and respectful to the environment. With the Yakuplu City Forest of 50 thousand square meters, which we opened today, we are bringing a brand new living space to both our Yakuplu neighborhood and Beylikdüzü. I would like to thank our President Ekrem İmamoğlu and his colleagues for making this project possible and for their cooperation.”
After the speeches, the ribbon cutting was carried out and the Yakuplu City Forest was put into service.