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LOCAL > Court suspends planned Artillery Barracks project to replace Gezi Park

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency

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The Artillery Barracks project stirred huge debate among Istanbul locals, who objected to the conversion of one of the last green areas at the heart of the city into another shopping center. DAILY NEWS photo, EMRAH GÜREL

The Artillery Barracks project stirred huge debate among Istanbul locals, who objected to the conversion of one of the last green areas at the heart of the city into another shopping center. DAILY NEWS photo, EMRAH GÜREL

Despite their peaceful movement being subject to brutal dawn raids by the police forces, Taksim Gezi Park protesters received good news from an administrative court May 31 which ruled for the suspension of the Artillery Barracks project planned to be built on the site of Istanbul’s most central park. 

The historic barracks (“Topçu Kışlası”) was one of the flagship projects of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for Istanbul. Erdoğan had announced a few months ago that the reproduction of the historic building would be converted into a shopping mall and could also serve as a residence with social facilities. 

However the plans stirred huge debate among the Istanbul locals, who objected to the conversion of one of the last green areas at the heart of the city into yet another shopping center. 

Meanwhile, Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş has denied that the demolition work initiated on May 28 was related to the barracks project. Topbaş claimed that the construction work was in fact, “Simply the mandatory removal and transfer of trees in the area in order to enlarge the pedestrian walk.”

However, Erdoğan had expressed determination to move ahead with the Artillery Barracks project. “Do whatever you want to do, but we’ve made our decision,” Erdoğan said May 29, addressing the protesters.

May/31/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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john albay

6/2/2013 3:18:41 PM

Perhaps we could build a police barracks there,at least that would keep the trouble makes away,and the normal citizens could then walk the streets in peace.

Sam Adam

6/2/2013 1:18:29 PM

I am a tourist and I visited Istanbul twice during the last couple of years. I must say that Istanbul is a charming city with many tourist attractions, and altough Taksim is a nice tourist area, but it is not exactly one of your top options, especially if you are limited to a few days. The reason being, is the absence of notable historic sites, you know, like Hagia Sofia...etc. Therefore, I think it is a good idea, and actually rather creative, to implement the planned development. All the best!

jeffrey Jeffrey

6/2/2013 6:40:13 AM

I am sure that Erdogan got a bribe from the developer for this project and for the 'renoavation' of AKM. Maybe its time to check Erdogan's bank accounts, and I am not talking about the ones in Turkey.

Bagudu Bagudu

6/1/2013 10:24:59 PM

Turks, stop him now before Erdogan collects the same power as Putin, with Gül serving as Medvedev

michele suzanne

6/1/2013 7:02:27 PM

It's good to know that Turkey's prime minister has nothing better to do with his time than to make plans for shopping malls and to destroy all the trees in the city (Gezi Park/Sultanahmet square/Tea gardens at side of Spice bazaar, to name but a few. His country and all it's citizens must be in great shape, as he now only devotes his time to city planning!!!!! Malls and mosques, malls and mosques ......Peaceful protesters - know that the world is watching and supports you in your endeavours.

Tekion Particle

6/1/2013 5:48:57 PM

He accuses Al Assad being a dictator but he is one himself. Democracy is not just about having the right to vote, it is having the right to a life style, freedom of choice, thought and expression. People have the right to disagree with the authority and to protest, it is their democratic right. If you go in and deal with peaceful demonstrators using teargas, water canons and batons you should expect trouble. Go on pull the carpet under your own feet. Long live democracy and secularism.

GERARD SELTZER

6/1/2013 4:35:20 PM

It seems to me that Mr. Erdogan just cannot control his authoritarian nature. He makes decisions based on his own idea of democracy and then wants to impose these ideas on others. He does not seem to want to consult with others in his administration who might help him to see other points of view - and that, in my opinion -- is his major weakness.

Joshua Bronxman

6/1/2013 3:33:08 PM

“Do whatever you want to do, but we’ve made our decision,” Erdoğan said May 29, addressing the protesters. Democracy, where are you now that we need you?

Handin Dglove

6/1/2013 8:53:31 AM

We don't need another mall and why is Erdogan making those kinds of local decisions ? They should ask the residents first. As far as the third bridge - I hope these protests will lead to that project being murdered. If they must build another bridge than they can build it closer to the already crowded areas instead of hoping for new development around the new one. So destructive.

Jarman Hani

6/1/2013 2:20:17 AM

A country where police does deal with protestors the way it happens in Turkey, and where urban parks can be demolished without masterplsnd and consent should not organise the Olympic Games. Was in favour of Istanbul, but not anymore.
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