800-Year-Old Oak Tree Stops Traffic in Turkey


Written by Jennifer Hattam, a Treehugger blogger.

New roads are built all the time in Turkey without much fuss, but the prospect of losing a massive oak tree that had stood in their town for 800 years brought residents of one Aegean village out into the streets recently to halt the completion of the Denizli-Salihli Highway.

Villagers and environmentalists in Kadıky village, part of Buldan district in Denizli province, began standing guard around the 800-year-old oak tree to keep it from being chopped down as part of the road-construction process, the Doğan news agency reported this week.

“The highway can pass by anywhere, but how many trees are there around that are 800 years old?” asked Salih Atlamaz, head of the Buldan Association for the Protection of Natural Life and Culture.

An Officially Monumental Tree
In a bid to keep the tree standing, local residents successfully petitioned for it to be registered as a “monumental tree” (anıt ağa in Turkish), a designation that confers protection. Turkey’s monumental trees include a famous Oriental plane tree outside the gate of Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace and a 650-plus-year-old plane tree in the nearby town of İznik.

An official commission extended protected status to the tree after determining that it was indeed seven to eight centuries old, meaning that although road construction will likely continue in another location, the oak will continue to shade Kadıky residents.

“If we cut down these trees, we will be denying our past. We have saved the tree through our efforts, and the real victory belongs to the villagers who protected the tree,” Atlamaz told the Doğan news agency. “I encourage all other citizens to take responsibility for their cultural, historical and natural assets.”

This post was originally published by Treehugger.

Related Stories:

New Herbicide Linked to Thousands of Tree Deaths

Federal Judge Acts to Protect 40 Endangered Species

NY Posed to Vote on Crucial Green Construction Bill

Photo from ((brian)) via flickr


Neil A.
Neil A4 years ago

Very glad to hear of this & the efforts of the local people who are too often ignored.

marc horton
marc horton6 years ago

that is grrreat news, good folks!i love old trees,

Betty Wright
Betty Wright6 years ago

Most Trees have the ability to outlast man by many many years, so they need to be given greater care & thought than is being given to them by planing commissions at present. Why destroy something of great beauty to create something that is plain & ugly like a new highway that can never replace the beauty that is so thoughtlessly being destroyed.

Charlotte S.
Charlotte S6 years ago

We're all just tree huggers at heart, and it does my heart good to know that people all over the world are trying to save the trees. Unite kindred spirits and lets spread the love for all living things, after all we're all together on this wonderful planet.

David K.
David K6 years ago

Awesome Story!

Damla .
Past Member 6 years ago

@Debra P.

Seriously, you need to shut the f up. This article is about a handful of villagers who stood up for what they believed in and succeeded yet you bring in an article where one sick Turk raped a dog and killed it but you don't stop there. You then go on to talk about it as if it is something Turks do on a regular basis...like we're a bunch of people who practice beastiality on a regular basis. I was born and raised there. I know my country, my culture and my people better than you ever can and will. If that guy was caught, he would be beaten to death. That's how sensitive we're about certain issues so take your Turk hating behind and get out of here!

Joy Jin
Joy Jin6 years ago

Good for them :)

Anja N.
Justin R6 years ago

Remarkable tree; remarkable people!

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim6 years ago

This is such a good thing to hear. I'm proud of those villagers! We can always build more roads and highways, but we can't just get another 800 year-old tree like that.

Rudolf Affolter
Past Member 6 years ago

Congratulations to the citizen's of Kadikoy. Clearly there are Green's the world over, and people who realise the value of natural heritage.