Turkey govt backs down after court ruling

2013-06-14 10:17
Cars and pedestrian use the Taksim Square as a few protesters gather at a barricade in Istanbul on Thursday. (Thanassis Stavrakis, AP)

Cars and pedestrian use the Taksim Square as a few protesters gather at a barricade in Istanbul on Thursday. (Thanassis Stavrakis, AP)

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Istanbul - The Turkish government said on Friday it would comply with a court decision that suspended the controversial development of Gezi Park in Istanbul, newspapers quoted a spokesperson as saying.

Following a late night meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and protestors, ruling Justice and Development Party spokesperson Huseyin Celik said that the government planned to hold a referendum if the development of the park was given the go-ahead by the courts, according to the Hurriyet daily.

If the court refused permission to build on Gezi Park, the government would abide by that ruling, he said.

Hurriyet quoted a representative of the Taksim Solidarity movement, Tayfun Kahraman, as saying his movement would "react positively to this positive stance".

The movement said on its website that its representatives would share more details about the meeting when they returned to Taksim Square.

Erdogan met protestors from Taksim Square in a last-ditch attempt to resolve the stand-off between the government and protestors in central Istanbul.

The meeting, which started just before midnight on Thursday, came hours after Erdogan gave the demonstrators a final warning to leave.

Protests began two weeks ago against a building project planned in the park. A police crackdown prompted demonstrations to break out in other cities and for the protests to widen into criticism of Erdogan and his government.

Read more on:    turkey  |  security

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