Istanbulites to decide on the fate of Gezi Park

The announcement by the municipality comes after the city assembly decided to include the project that sparked nationwide protests in 2013 in its 5-year planning strategy

Istanbulites to decide on the fate of Gezi Park

World Bulletin/News Desk

Istanbulites will decide on the future of Gezi Park even if an appeals court rules in favor of the construction of a much-contested construction project at the site, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has said Wednesday.

The announcement comes after Istanbul’s city assembly decided Monday to include in its 5-year planning strategy, the controversial project of replacing Gezi Park, located near Taksim Square, with a mall and a hotel - a project that was the initial cause of enormous demonstrations against the government.

The municipality said Wednesday that there would be a referendum over the project even if the appeals court rules in favor of the Istanbul Municipality. 

The original project caused a small environmental protest on May 31, 2013, which later turned into nationwide anti-government demonstrations.

The protests erupted after the government moved to implement a redevelopment plan for Taksim Square, which included replacing part of Gezi Park with a mall.

Amid nationwide protests, an Istanbul Court decided to halt the project on June 6 2013. However, the municipality appealed the ruling, which is still being looked into by the higher court.

The project aims to build an Ottoman military-style barrack, which is to incorporate a shopping mall and hotel.

 

Last Mod: 19 Kasım 2014, 17:04
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