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Turkish Court Ruling Allows Gezi Park Demolition to Proceed

Turkish Court Ruling Allows Gezi Park Demolition to Proceed

Demolition can move forward in Taksim Square’s Gezi Park in Istanbul, Turkey, according to an administrative court’s ruling.

From Hurriyet Daily News:

An Istanbul administrative court has unanimously overturned a lower court’s stay of order ruling on planned construction on Istanbul’s Gezi Park, allowing the demolition of the green space to resume ahead of the subsequent mall construction.

The Istanbul First Regional Court had ruled June 6 to order a stay of execution in the case of the Taksim Gezi Park Protection and Beautification Association versus the Culture and Tourism Ministry, halting the demolition amid countrywide protests.

The park had been at the center of weeks of protests that drew fierce criticism after the Turkish government responded with hostile actions, including mass arrests of protesters and crackdowns on social media.  Those protests gave rise to a larger anti-government movement against what many have described as the authoritarian policies of Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

The administrative court’s decision comes after the Culture and Tourism Ministry appealed the lower court’s previous ruling.  The State Council was slated to make a decision on the fate of the park before legal challenges were brought.  The head of the council previously said that it would not go against a standing court order suspending the planned demolition, according to a June 13th Hurriyet Daily article.

“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.”

Despite this most recent ruling from the administrative court, a lawyer who represents the plaintiffs maintains that the ruling will not stand, saying, ““They cannot drive a nail in Gezi Park.”

From Hurriyet Daily News:

However, according to a lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the case, the court ruling has no legal basis and a redevelopment plan cannot be implemented in any way. Can Atalay said the plan opening Gezi Park for construction had already been cancelled by the Istanbul 1st Administrative Court and the Regional Court’s verdict was therefore not valid.

“They cannot drive a nail in Gezi Park, it will stay as a park,” Atalay said.

Protesters have continued to turn out every weekend since the demonstrations began in May.


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So the Marxists lose their protest.

The whole thing in Turkey will simply fizzle out for the time being.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Aussie. | July 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I don’t know that they are Marxists.

    But they like this part of the city as it it stands. Sometimes citizen / left civic movements have had great success in preventing destruction of historic buildings & neighbourhoods.

    In Sydney The Queen Victoria Building was slated for demolition into 60s until massive protests. The historic Rocks area was saved by the Building Labourers Union. Today they are everything to Sydney.

    Conservative/ conservation – same word.

BannedbytheGuardian | July 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm

I am on the side of the buildings & the little park – the people not do much.

I note they are not protesting the change of the Hagia. Sofia from Ataturk’s designation of museum to a practising mosque.

[…] Demolition can move forward in Taksim Square’s Gezi Park in Istanbul, Turkey, according to an administrative court’s ruling. [Read the full article] […]