Dear Members of the ODTÜ Community,
Due to the recent news and debate about the “ODTÜ Urban Development Plan for Conservation”, “Lake Eymir” and “Tunnel Roadway” in the media, once again, we would like to share the following information with our Community.
As the majority of our Campus area consists of 1st/2nd degree of natural and archaeological importance areas for preservation, we are required to design “ODTÜ Urban Development Plan for Conservation” and have it approved as a legally binding document. The Conservation Plan provisions serve to protect the integrity of the Campus area with its existing boundaries, its natural environment, and they confirm the current ODTÜ landuse and built-up areas. Recognizing the crucial nature of the Plan, all technical, judicial and administrative aspects of the preparation and approval process have been dealt with diligently by our academic and administrative departments, and the University Board and Senate have constantly monitored the whole process. We thank our academic and administrative staff members and friends of ODTÜ for their invaluable contributions throughout the process. We also thank those who have shared our sensitivities and expressed their support, also to the media, of ODTÜ’s efforts to preserve natural and archeological entities.
“ODTÜ Urban Development Plan for Conservation” had been approved by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning in October 2013. Because of the objections of our University and other institutions, the Ministry has made some revisions in the Plan, and the Revised Plan was approved on May 20, 2014 and the one-month objection period started on May 29, 2014. A University Committee, which included academics of ODTÜ Faculty of Architecture, carefully inspected The Revised Plan at the beginning of June.
1. The Revised Plan designates the “tunnel roadway” as a completely underground passage, from east to the west, between the Vişnelik Alumni Association and the Bilkent Boulevard Gate (A-7), in order to preserve the integrity of the Campus and nature. As prescribed in the Plan Notes (Special Provisions, Item 1.10, full text given below), the Plan provisions strictly preclude any construction on the surface. As can be seen from the Plan Note below, on-surface construction is totally ruled out and construction of any kind can not begin without ODTÜ’s written consent, unless the Plan provisions are overtly violated.
2. The Revised Plan does not include any modifications of the existing preservation orders regarding Lake Eymir and its surrounding areas. It fully conforms with the 1995 decisions of the “Committee for the Conservation of Natural and Cultural Entities” regarding the 1st/2nd degree of natural importance areas for preservation. First degree natural importance areas can not be built upon. The Committee had envisaged an “Open Air Folklore Museum” in the second degree areas. However, the Revised Plan does not stipulate any building in the second degree areas. As long as ownership and legal allocation reside with ODTÜ, no building can take place in the Lake Eymir area without the consent of the University.
The regulations brought about by the Revised Plan satisfy our objections to the earlier Plan approved in October 2013, vis-à-vis the two aspects listed above. The Revised Plan, approved on May 20, 2014 by the Ministry, is not finalized as the one-month objection period is not yet over.
As a part of its responsibility to nature and society, our University will continue to take all necessary steps to protect and preserve Lake Eymir, ODTÜ Forest, and integrity of ODTÜ Campus area.
Plan Notes – Special Provisions
1.10. The tunnel roadway from 100.Yıl Neighborhood to Bilkent that passes through ODTÜ Campus is shown in the map. The 35-meter band of the road, its itinerary, design of the junctions may be changed, while preserving the integrity of ODTÜ Campus and nature, in an agreement between the ODTÜ administration and the corresponding units of the municipal government. However there cannot be any on-the-surface construction. Construction can not begin before an agreement is signed between the municipal government and ODTÜ regarding the selection of tunneling techniques.