ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş has dismissed claims that the park was being demolished to build a mall in its place. DHA photo
People’s sincere concerns are being “exploited by misinformation” regarding the Taksim Gezi Park demolition, causing “unpleasant reflections” in the city, Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş said May 31.
Speaking at a press conference following a bloody police crackdown on protesters earlier in the day, Topbaş dismissed claims that the park was being demolished to build a mall in its place. “It is simply the mandatory removal and transfer of trees in the area in order to enlarge the pedestrian walk,” he claimed.
“The work that will be done is not on the scale of a shopping mall, and what we see here is the exploitation of our nature-loving citizens with misinformation,” Topbaş said.
“Sadly there are those who exploit people over this, and who expect political gains from this,” he added.
Police forces attacked Taksim Gezi Park protesters at dawn with tear gas and violence for a second consecutive day this morning in a new attempt to disperse crowds.