ANKARA 

A stork’s nest was placed atop the Column of Julian, which was known for hosting storks for years, by Ankara Social Studies University (ASBU) to encourage the famous birds to come.  

The historic landmark was erected in honor of Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate’s visit to Ankara nearly 1,700 years ago and is nearly 15 meters long (49 feet). In 1934, it was transferred from Ulus Tashan to the nearby ASBU building.

The landmark was so famous that when residents gave directions they referred to the column as the “storks nest” or the “Minaret of Belkis.” The Column of Julian and its nest was printed on postage stamps and postcards to symbolize the capital.

The ASBU building, which used to be the Governor’s building, is surrounded at the heart of historic, cultural and religious sites in Ankara

University head Musa Kazim Arican told Anadolu Agency the school wants to be surrounded by natural life.

“We sat down with experts. Veterinarians told us that the storks may have left their spot either because its partner died or their nest was damaged but new storks would definitely come and use the spot as their nest again,” said Arican.

He said the school placed the new nest on top of the column, and everyone is waiting “with all eyes” for the storks to come.

“We want them to use this place as a home and a range during migration seasons, and when they come here, they will add beauty to our beautiful Ankara,” he said..

Arican said he hopes to revitalize natural life to major cities across Turkey and the school wants and hopes wild animals could live and have a place in major cities.

*Writing by Merve Aydogan

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