Turkey’s Council of State cancels Taksim pedestrianization project
ISTANBULTurkey’s Council of State has canceled the controversial Taksim pedestrianization project with a majority of votes, daily Hürriyet reported May 6.
The project’s first step was completed last year with the underground tunnel in Istanbul’s Taksim Square being opened on Sept. 12.
The construction area is also adjacent to Gezi Park, where protests had erupted in late May and spread across the country. Protesters who were opposed to the municipality’s redevelopment project of the park, which would involve cutting down trees within the vicinity, also objected to the pedestrianization project.
The decision followed Istanbul’s first Regional Court’s previous decision, which canceled Taksim’s pedestrianization project and the Artillery Barracks project on June 6, 2013.
The court decided to cancel the changes over the 1/5000 scale and 1/1000 scale construction plans for Beyoğlu, which automatically cancelled the pedestrianization and the Artillery Barracks projects.
The Istanbul Municipality released images of Taksim in February, showing how the square would have looked after the landscape project was complete.
The Istanbul Chamber of Urban Planners has also disapproved of the project, saying its aim, in fact, was not to ease traffic for pedestrians, but rather giving priority to vehicles by creating five tunnels, which would inconvenience pedestrians wanting to reach the square.