Reuters

Officials suspend plans to raze Gezi Park.

A day after issuing ominous threats to protesters in Istanbul, the Turkish government appears to have worked out out a compromise that could send everyone home without more of a fight. The government has agreed to suspend a controversial development plan that would have razed the city's Gezi Park in order to build a new mall, and potentially put the issue to a vote. In exchange, however, the ruling party still wants demonstrators to abandon the park, which they have occupied for most of the last two weeks. As a deputy chairman of the AKP party said in a statement to the media, "After this point, the most right thing will be for you to go sleep in your warm beds at home."

It's not really known if that promise will do any good, however, since the protesters are far from united and don't really answer to any single group. The original demonstrations were organized by environmental groups hoping to save the park, but they morphed into a general outburst to air any and all grievances against Prime Minister Recep Erdogan. Representatives of the protest groups met with Erdogan early on Friday, but some groups refused to attend and others have already stated they don't intend to accept the compromise agreement. 

A Turkish court has temporarily blocked the development project, but the government is appealing the ruling. They have stated that if they win the ruling they will still allow a referendum in Istanbul, but if the protesters don't cooperate, then could be a long and difficult weekend in Turkey.

Top image: Pedestrians and a Turkish flag are reflected in a puddle following a noon rainfall in Istanbul's Taksim square. (Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  2. Equity

    The Problem With Research on Racial Bias and Police Shootings

    Despite new research on police brutality, we still have no idea whether violence toward African Americans is fueled by racial prejudice. That has consequences.

  3. A Seoul Metro employee, second left, monitors passengers, to ensure face masks are worn, on a platform inside a subway station in Seoul, South Korea.
    Transportation

    How to Safely Travel on Mass Transit During Coronavirus

    To stay protected from Covid-19 on buses, trains and planes, experts say to focus more on distance from fellow passengers than air ventilation or surfaces.

  4. photo: A protester stands on a damaged bus stop near the Third Police Precinct on May 28 in Minneapolis during a protest over the death of George Floyd.
    Transportation

    In Minneapolis Protests, Bus Drivers Take a Side

    The city’s transit union issued a statement of support for members who balked at assisting police during demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd.

  5. photo: A 59-year-old-man named Al sits outside his house in a low-income neighborhood in Miami in April.
    Equity

    What Happens When the Eviction Bans End?

    States are reopening courts to eviction hearings even as coronavirus-driven job losses continue, setting the stage for “a housing crisis of unparalleled magnitude.”

×