Turkey's 'Thorny' Taksim Square Project Overturned

World | July 4, 2013, Thursday // 11:28|  views

Turkey has seen tireless civil unrest sparked by a police crackdown on a local protest over an Istanbul park. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The court in Istanbul has annulled the controversial project for the reconstruction of Taksim Square.

The project led to mass anti-government protests that have been shacking Turkey for over a month now.

The rule has been issued at the beginning of June but was made public Thursday on the internet pages of a number of Turkish newspapers, the Bulgarian news agency BGNES reported.

The First Administrative Court in Istanbul grounded the cancellation of the project on the fact it did not seek and taken into account the opinion of "local people." The rule can still be appealed.

Meanwhile, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said on Wednesday that Turkey should not join the EU because the country is not part of Europe. Thus, he strongly emphasized on the resistance of Berlin against Ankara's EU ambitions and bid.

The protests began on May 28 over plans to redevelop Gezi Park.

It is the only remaining park in Taksim district, and it was supposed to make way for the rebuilding of an Ottoman era military barracks to house a large shopping center.

The rallies spread quickly, engulfing a number of major cities, and eventually turned into demonstrations against the authoritarian and Islamic-leaning policy of the Turkish government.

The protest escalated after police used tear gas and water cannon.

The US and the EU expressed concern over Turkey's handling of the protests and Amnesty International condemned the police's tactics.

The unrest reflects growing disquiet at Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's administration and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party.

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Tags: turkey, Istanbul, Ankara, court, Taksim, Gezi park, protest, Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany, EU, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister, Justice and Development Party, police


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