Playground at Anıtkabir spurs debate: a group of protesters remove the plastic toys

24.09.2016 17:54 BİRGÜN DAİLY

As pictures of a children’s playground with plastic toys set in front of Anıtkabir (Atatürk’ mausoleum in Ankara) spread in social media earlier last week, several people had reacted against it firmly.

According to the reports of Hürriyet newspaper, head of Ankara branch of Chamber of Architects of Turkey Tezcan Karakuş Candan had made statements about it, saying: “Anıtkabir is a place of memory, a place of respect. The Lions Road there is designed with such structures that you can’t get your eyes off of them. We know Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s – the founder of this country – love for children; however, placing here these kinds of children’s toys that are not matching with the spirit and the venue is disrespectful. We tell our children to act in line with the necessities of the times and the places. At a place where respect is to be paid, children should be there to show respect… Anıtkabir is not a place to have plastic slides. We have written a message to the protection department in order for this absurd thing to be removed immediately. Furthermore, we are going to file a criminal complaint against those who have disrespected this site.”

A group of CHP and civil society members removed some of the toys

Having gathered in front of Anıtkabir, a group of members of CHP and representatives of civil society organizations shared their press release demanding the removal of the playground from the site. The group has expressed their views with regards to the plastic toys being unsuitable for the site as it is a ‘protected area’ that is also to be respected both in terms of context and architecture.


Ankara Mayor Gökçek: ‘We are going to file a criminal complaint against those removing the toys’

Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek shared several comments from his personal twitter account, claiming to be in an attempt to file a criminal complaint against those who have removed some of the toys from the playground. Also referring to Atatürk’s love of children, Gökçek criticized those standing against the presence of the plastic playground by saying: ‘Look, you bigot CHP people. We place a playground at mosques to be able to make children coming there to love mosques. But you remove the toys from the playground in Anıtkabir to make children stay away from Atatürk. What you are doing is literally an enmity of Atatürk.”