Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport City Park opens to visitors

Istanbul National Park

Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport City Park opened its doors recently for visitors to walk around and enjoy the newly planted 145,300 trees along the 13,000 metres, or 42,650 feet, of pavement. This new park is the fifth largest in the world and the biggest park in the entire country of Turkey.

Former aviation hub turned city park

Istanbul’s most extensive public park, spanning around two million square metres, on the former Ataturk Airport aviation hub, offers an escape for people living in the city.

The construction on the park began in May 2022, and while it has been nicknamed the “Green Corridor of Istanbul”, it is now around 95% complete, according to Murat Kurum, the Minster for Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change.

What the park has to offer

The park offers a number of zero-waste workshops, concert halls, family facilities, playgrounds, soup kitchens and a variety of different healthy activities for both adults and children, while continuing with its aim of promoting a ‘green’ Istanbul. In addition, there are greenhouses within the park, which citizens will be able to benefit from, having organic produce grown within the park available.

New trees for the area

The new city park is also home to an area that is representative of the conquest of Istanbul, which consists of over 145,000 trees. These include olive trees which are over 350 years old and linden and plane trees which are around 50-60 years old.

Addition of a stream adds to the tranquility

The former airport, which has now been converted into the stunning city park, has an artificial stream spanning 2.5 kilometres long. It has been called “Ab-1 Hayat Suyu” and flows from the south to the north. Alongside the creek there have been observation terraces and picnic areas added in, as well as relaxation areas and a number of bicycle and walking paths.

Another good feature of the city park is that it can be accessed from nine different points of entrance around the border.

Further construction of more city parks nationwide

In recent times, the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change has opened a total of 15 different national parks within Istanbul and there is ongoing construction on an additional 27 national parks. When looking at the country in general, there has been or is currently, the construction of 314 different national gardens underway or completed in recent years. Nationwide, there has been 484 projects for public gardens delivered, but the ministry is aiming to reach a total of 200 million square metres of green space by 2028.

WHO recommendations for outdoor space

Recommendation came from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that cities needed to have 15-20 square metres of green outdoor space per person and an additional 20 square metres in developed nations. In order for Turkey to reach this level of attainment, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chose to establish the National Gardens project in order to enhance green spaces around the country.


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