Sunday, March 18, 2007

GHAZI MODEL FARM (Atatürk Orman Çiftliği)

GHAZI MODEL FARM (Atatürk Orman Ciftligi)
By Mehmet TUNÇER[1]

How we have forgotten AOC ice-cream, which is our taste/flavor of childhood, AOC beer as remembrance during adolescence ages as members of Ankara population. Ghazi (Mustafa Kemal Ataturk / Founder of the Republic of Turkey) Forest Farm (AOC) is our sea, Bhosphorus (At Istanbul) or/and Cordon Line (At Izmir).

My ideas depend upon more past periods, the oldest memories about AOC reminded me such events that; fear imposed us about how the elephants located at Zoological Garden throw the children, speeches, lions’ voices and smells, birds’ scream while they walk around at their cage freely, and the silence of thousands of fish in the Aquarium…

When we look at the middle and high school memories of each Ankara citizen such phenomenon cover our minds that; after excited preparation with the speech of “Let’s go to the picnic to the Farm”, crowdedness of weekend at farm, its noisy environment, smoke rise from braziers, noisy picnics within train whistles, ice-creams, beers, and the cheapest but the delicious and tasty wines.

Nevertheless, at the beginning of last century, the wealthy people migrated to the orchards at summer times as a result of dust storm at “Steppe Angora”. At orchards areas (Oren in Turkish) at the valleys of Keçiören, Etlik, Kavaklıdere. And new orchards houses had built for “Eşraf” at the late 19th century and this trend give a birth to a new culture.

The most essential recreation area was Bendderesi (a small river), which had begun to pollute even at that times of Angora. At the final part of this Century, with the connection of railway network to Ankara, the last trees remaining at Hippodrome were cut down and utilized as fuel for heating, and as a result of this fact, City’s steppe areas had become larger.

Anyhow, 1881 fire and later 1917 fire were deteriorated the districts and most part of the historical city texture and at the same time some of the “Bedesten” and “Han” annihilated by these fires (harik).

It is hard to convert an Anatolian small town, which is dusty, hot and be ruined with fires into a well-planned capital city in 10-15 years.

This aim began by the help of city planning, constructing buildings, constructing public buildings as a good example of national architecture by famous foreign architects, existing knowledge, skills and workmanship, materials.

Nevertheless, improvement of aridity of soil as a result of unconciosness, enabling soil productive, watering it and turning it to green are the most difficult task in my opinion.

Although hopeless speeches such as “Do not try here, even grass cannot grow here”, “Here is arid, planted area would dry” etc. were being said, Mustafa Kemal had constructed “Forest Farm” and began to struggle with nature as he had fight with his enemies. This fight is difficult, as its known resembles. He planted trees, had digging soil, used tractor in this fight.

The production of struggles, AOÇ, was annihilated by appropriation of 1/3 of its area and looting. Here is the most looting came from public agencies that constructed coach station / terminal at one side and located cemetery on another side.

Local and central managers could not carry out to make pedestrialization, and they could not thought about green area need of a city. Still AOÇ does not have a plan although it contains a large potential. A huge green axis can be created from railway station to Genclik Parkı (Youth Park) . Align with Ankara River to Sincan, Eryaman...Natural parks, sports areas, safari parks... can be established by using this potential.

My wishes are that AOÇ’s conservation and convert to a “Nature Park”.. Also, utilization of its even small parts for different purposes is out my wishes..

[1] Assoc. Prof. Dr., Urban and Regional Planner, Part-time Instructor in Gazi University, Faculty of Architecture, Dep. Of City and Regional Planner.

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