Originally constructed in 1929 and once served as a home to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, the mansion got its nickname after Atatürk ordered the building to be moved on rails in order not to harm a nearby plane tree.
When Atatürk went to the mansion in 1930, workers wanted permission from him to cut down a limb from the plane tree as it could damage the roof and walls of the building.
However, instead of cutting down the limb, Atatürk instructed to move the building a little bit further, according to the narratives.
The site had undergone repairs every few years to restore the parts damaged due to humidity and saltwater.
Opened to the public in 1981 and restored in 2016 one last time, the mansion’s story made headlines again in 2014 when the municipality ordered more than 150 trees to be cut down to make way for an overpass, including the ones near the site.
The two-story building has three lounges and eleven rooms and is well equipped with furniture that has been taken from the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul.
Atatürk used to spend the summer months in the mansion and had invited many notable singers and musicians to perform concerts and classical music recitals at the time. It was also the place where the idea to establish the Liberal Republican Party, the Turkish Historical Society and the Turkish Language Association was developed.
The registered mansion, which is considered among the immovable cultural and natural assets that must be protected by the decision of the Real Estate Antiquities and Monuments High Council, has reached today with the 400-year-old eastern plane tree.
Visited by thousands of people every year, the mansion became the subject of the documentary named “That Plane,” which was shot in 20 days.
Fehmi Gerçeker, the director of the documentary, said that they made the documentary to reflect the importance Atatürk gave to the environment and introduce the work he left to the world.
The director stated that his grandfather, Mustafa Fehmi Gerçeker, who was the deputy of Bursa back then, met with Atatürk several times from 1920 until his death, and a few of the meetings they had took place inside the Walking Mansion.
“This documentary is very important in terms of sensitivity to the environment and the promotion of Yalova. The most important thing is that Atatürk’s thought will set an example to the world about the environment,” Gerçeker said, adding that the documentary would broadcast both in Turkish and English.
Hurriyet Daily News