Referendum cannot go against court decision, top judge says on Gezi Park

Referendum cannot go against court decision, top judge says on Gezi Park

ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency
Referendum cannot go against court decision, top judge says on Gezi Park

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised the possibility of bringing the issue of the demolition of Gezi Park to a referendum. Hürriyet Daily News photo by Emrah Gürel

The head of the Council of State has said a referendum planned by the government to decide on the fate of Istanbul’s Gezi Park cannot go against a standing court order for the suspension of the project.

“I do not take this as a referendum,” Hüseyin Karakullukçu told reporters today. “This is more like a vote to reveal the demands of the public. This cannot obviate the judiciary’s decision. The judiciary’s decision is essential in a state of law.”

An Istanbul administrative court had ruled May 31 for the suspension of the Artillery Barracks (Topçu Kışlası) project planned to be built on the site of Gezi Park, which has been the focus of protests for more than two weeks.

On June 12, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised the possibility of bringing the issue of the demolition of Gezi Park to a referendum at a meeting on the ongoing protests with an 11-member delegation.

“The prime minister said that since we want to know what the people think, we can bring the option of a referendum to the concerned bodies,” the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik said at a press conference following the meeting.

“With a decision from the AKP’s Central Executive Committee, the necessary step could be undertaken,” he added.

Referendum cannot go against court decision, top judge says on Gezi Park