No more dinosaurs in Ankara as “Ankapark” changes hands

No more dinosaurs in Ankara as “Ankapark” changes hands
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A court transferred the control of the amusement park to the city council following a three-year legal battle

Known for its derelict giant dinosaur models, the case for the amusement park “Ankapark” is finally settled. A court decided to transfer control of the park to the city council on July 18 following an exhaustive legal battle.

Ankara’s Mayor, Mansur Yavas, said that the $801 million spent on the park could have been used for more beneficial projects.

15,000 social housing units or 300 student dormitories could have been built to meet the needs of the people of Ankara

Yavas also announced that the faith of the park would be decided in tandem with the residents of the capital. “We will make the best decision for the people of Ankara,” he said in a tweet.

The municipality of Ankara, which is run by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), announced that they filed for a “fraudulent bankruptcy” lawsuit against the former owners of the amusement park.

“A criminal complaint was issued to all those responsible who allowed ANKAPARK to rot and resulted in public loss until the time the control was passed to the municipality,” the statement read. The municipality also put a detailed list of the expenditures on its website.

Ankapark is the brainchild of Melih Gokcek, the former mayor of Ankara. A staunch member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Gokcek ran the capital for more than 20 years. He was blamed for the faith of the now-defunct amusement park which opened with great fanfare by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan back in 2019.

Speaking on the eve of local elections, Erdogan had said the project would bring Ankara $10 million each year. But the owner announced that it was shutting the park down in November 2019 due to insufferable losses.