Erdogan opens giant theme park in Ankara

Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday opened a giant theme park in Ankara as he campaigned ahead of local elections.

Construction of the 1.3-million-square-metre park started nearly six years ago and was completed last year, but the park had not been opened to the public amid safety fears over some of the rides and games.

Melih Gokcek, the former AKP mayor of Ankara, was shown stuck at the top of a roller-coaster shortly after the park, Ankapark Wonderland Eurasia, was completed at a cost of 1.4 billion lira ($256 million).

Speaking in front of a towering model of a Tyrannosaurus dinosaur and a fountain decorated with cat statues, Erdogan said the park would provide the municipality with 50 million lira a year.

Ankapark … isn’t just a symbol of pride for Ankara, but all of Turkey, Erdogan told thousands of gathered supporters.

The park will host 2,117 attractions including 14 roller-coasters, he said in a statement, and was expected to attract 5 million visitors in its first operational year. 

Erdogan said on Wednesday that entrance to the park would be free until election night on March 31.

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