The Housing Development Administration (TOKİ), the country's leading housing authority, announced that number of city parks planned for construction or being constructed was increased to 60 from 41. The parks, being called "millet bahçesi" which literally means "public garden," are planned to be built in all 81 provinces of Turkey.
The parks look to create a vast expanse of greenery in the middle of rapidly developing cities and were part of the government's 100-day program announced last year. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan champions the parks and personally attended the opening of the first stage of such a massive park in Istanbul's Kayaşehir district and in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır.
Another city park was opened in Istanbul's Başakşehir. TOKİ announced earlier that 41 parks would be built in 30 cities and this number is now 60 parks in 40 cities.
Currently, 13 parks are being constructed in 11 cities and 47 parks are in the planning stages in cities including Mersin in southern Turkey, Trabzon in the Black Sea region, as well as Diyarbakır, Muş, Bitlis, Balıkesir, Afyonkarahisar, Erzurum, Karaman, Burdur, Ankara, Konya, Sivas, Istanbul, Kars, Aydın, Kırıkkale, Kastamonu, Hakkari, Ardahan, Giresun, Kırklareli, Tekirdağ, Nevşehir, Yozgat, Gaziantep, Malatya, Adana and Hatay.
Along with a vast stretch of greenery, the parks are home to walking and biking lanes, sporting areas, playgrounds, amphitheaters, parking lots and cafes.