Turkey to Rebuild Disputed Gezi Park

Turkey to Rebuild Disputed  Gezi ParkTurkey to Rebuild Disputed  Gezi Park

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signaled that he intends to revive plans to redevelop a central Istanbul park that sparked large anti-government protests in 2013. Erdogan said Gezi Park was an issue “where we need to be courageous”. Plans envisaged rebuilding an old barracks and erecting other structures on the rare central green space. Several people were killed and thousands injured in the protests that began in May 2013, BBC reported. What started as demonstrations against urban redevelopment turned into a wider expression of anger against the policies of the government under Erdogan, the then prime minister. The excessive use of force by riot police escalated tensions. “If we want to preserve our history, we must rebuild this historic structure; we will rebuild it,” he said in a speech in Istanbul, quoted by AFP. He was referring to the Ottoman-era barracks that used to stand in Gezi Park. In the wake of the 2013 unrest, Turkey’s top administrative court blocked the redevelopment but last year it reversed its decision, following an appeal by the municipality of Istanbul.