Turkish Government Calls Off Park Demolition that Fueled Unrest
(ISTANBUL) — After a court ruled the demolition of Gezi Park in Istanbul would be suspended, the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced early Friday that it would abide by the decision, which could lead to a referendum on the issue.
It was a small demonstration against the demolition at Gezi Park last May 31 that led to two weeks of full-blown civil unrest throughout Turkey as Erdogan’s opponents accused him and his AKP party of rolling back civil rights in the secular Muslim country.
As riot police kept up their assault against the demonstrators, leading to four deaths and more than 5,000 injured, Erdogan pledged not to give in to their demands and promised to clear Gezi Park of anyone encamped there.
Even with this apparent victory, organizers say it will be up to the park dwellers to decide whether they want to remain or leave. There’s also uncertainty about what the protest movement’s next move will be.
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