Do Not Touch Validebag Woods

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Do Not Touch Validebag Woods


Validebag Woods, with an area of 354 acres, is one of the largest green areas on the Asian side of İstanbul. What makes Validebag Woods a special place is not only the greenery but also the vibrant natural life which sustains itself. For this reason it was declared grade 1 natural site area in 1999. Thousands of trees, shrubs, animals, birds and insects live in the woods. It is a natural organism which houses squirrels, tortoises, local and migrant birds and insects.

We know that Validebag Woods has long been attracting the profit-greedy eyes. Some said they will turn the area into a “city forest”, some said into “the Hyde Park of Istanbul.” Some attempt to build a hospital inside it, another a pond, amphitheatre, bird observation tower, walking paths or children’s playground. Yet another wants to open a café-restaurant, while one organizes athletics championship or transports thousands of people from all over the city for picnic organisations.

As Validebag Volunteers, we have been fighting against all these profit seekers since 1998 and we will continue to do so. We would like to remind that Validebag Woods is not a garden, nor is it a park. It is a natural wood. What is more, it is a grade 1 site area. Adile Sultan Palace and Abdulaziz Hunting Lodge hold historical value, despite their recent harsh use and they are both grade 1 protected historic buildings.

They are creating the impression that Validebag Woods is a closed, forbidden area where people are not allowed to enter. That is not true. Everyday, the woods host thousands of people taking a walk or jogging. There are several places for those who want to eat a snack or have a refreshment. This being the reality, and many people enjoying what the area offers, there is no need to transform the woods into something else. We know that all these projects involve some sort of a construction work and this will destroy the natural ecosystem of the woods.

To conclude, Validebag Woods is a grade 1 natural and historic site area. It is our responsibility to leave this wood to the coming generations in its natural and green entirety. Do not touch the woods! Those who want to do something for the woods, just help keep it clean and garbage-free.

Validebag Volunteers