"Construct Metro Not Roads"

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 11:45 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Cigdem ADEM , The Public Administration Institute for Turkey and the Middle East, Ankara, Turkey
Middle East Technical University (METU), (Ankara, Turkey) is located in a 45 km2 forest campus planted by the students, academics and the military in 1960s. The reforestation programme received Aga Khan Award in 1995. One of the few green areas in the city, the university campus is under the threat of destruction - with rapid urbanization and road based transportation policies-by various road construction plans in 1983, in 1994 and the most recent in 2013. The first era of environmental movement in 1994 “Protect METU No to the Highway” led by university students and local environmentalists was successful. In 2013, the major of Ankara insists on constructing an 8 lane highway that passes through the forest and another highway which will cross the campus via tunnel. Consequently, 3000 trees, the nearest neighbourhoods and the wildlife in the forest will be affected severely. The Prime Minister in response to the movement declared that “If you want forest go and live in the forest. Road is civilization.” The study will focus on comparative framing and discourses of 1994 and 2013 movements. In addition, it will discuss various relationships around road construction of the students, NGOs, the university and the major. The study will further explore the motivations of participants and the impact of the movement on the daily transportation behaviour. Most research on the social backgrounds of environmental activists has concluded that they are disproportionately highly educated and employed in the teaching, creative, welfare, or caring professions and, especially, the offspring of the highly educated (Rootes 1995). However, grassroots environmental movements involve a broader cross-section of society than do the major national EMOs, in part because locally unwanted land uses are more often imposed upon the poor. Hence, the study will outline the profile of environmental activists.