Turkey May Hold Referendum on Gezi Park Project

World | June 13, 2013, Thursday // 08:58|  views

Activists stand on top of their barricade overlooking Taksim Square at the entrance of Gezi Park, in Istanbul, Turkey on 12 June 2013. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The Turkish government has agreed to consider a referendum on the controversial project for the redevelopment of Istanbul's Gezi Park.

The plans plans to replace the park with a reconstruction of the former Taksim Military Barracks intended to house a shopping mall sparked mass protests in major Turkish cities for nearly two weeks.

Huseyin Celik, Deputy Chairman of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AKP) party, announced that the government was open to the idea of a referendum after the first meeting of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with representatives of protesters.

Hundreds of protesters sang and chanted in Taksim square early on Thursday despite orders to disperse.

Apart from the changes to the project for the redevelopment of the park, the protesters also demand that the government penalize the ones responsible for the brutal police attacks.

Meanwhile, Turkish police used tear gas to disperse nearly 2000 protesters holding a demonstration in a central district of Ankara.

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Tags: Gezi park, Istanbul, Turkish Prime Minister, AKP, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, protests


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