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GREEN >Annulment case for Taksim renovation plan underway

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency

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The fate of the Taksim renovation project will be decided by an Istanbul court. DAILY NEWS photo

The fate of the Taksim renovation project will be decided by an Istanbul court. DAILY NEWS photo

A landmark plea to cancel the Gezi Park Master Plan has started in Istanbul with the attendance of protesters’ representatives. The case is expected last for a period of time between a week and a month.

Seven people attended the case, including members of the Taksim Solidarity Platform, who were there at the start of then movement that became the country's most widespread unrest for decades. 

Lawyer Gonca Yılmaz said legal steps had been disregarded from the very beginning of the Taksim pedestrianization plan, which started on Oct. 31, 2012. She said the related law ruled that the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality should have held two meetings with locals and non-governmental organizations, but this never happened.

Yılmaz also said some 747 square meters of the park had already been demolished by the municipality so far.

On the other side of the case, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s lawyers said every step had been taken in accordance with the laws.

Meanwhile, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) hosted a workshop yesterday with a focus on the ongoing Gezi protests.

Gezi talks

The workshop aimed at offering a debate on the possible future strategies to follow. Part of the analysis also included the need to work further on the younger population.

AKP Deputy Chair Süleyman Soylu described the events as the “most interesting 20 days of Turkey’s democracy,” but then repeated the government line that the protests took a different turn with "foreign interventions" and the involvement of "radical groups." 

A guest list including deputies, academics and experts attended the workshop. Several of the party’s Central Decision and Executive Council members, including Nikhet Hotar and Prof. Yasin Aktay, were among those who attended the workshop.

The editor-in-chief of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, Rober Koptaş, however, declined the invitation to attend the workshop, citing the prime minister’s attitude as the reason.

June/27/2013

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