Controversial Gezi Park reopened

Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu announced the reopening three weeks after riot police expelled protesters from Gezi Park following a fortnight of frequently violent protests against plans to redevelop the area.

Controversial Gezi Park reopened

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey reopened Gezi Park at the heart of last month's demonstrations against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and protest leaders called a rally there for Monday evening in defiance of the city governor.

Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu announced the reopening three weeks after riot police expelled protesters from Gezi Park following a fortnight of frequently violent protests against plans to redevelop the area.

"We have seen with the visit carried out today that all our work has been completed," Mutlu told reporters in the park, which has been spruced up with the planting of new trees, plants and lawns since the protesters were evicted on June 15.

Taksim Solidarity, combining political and non-governmental groups opposed to the construction of a replica Ottoman era barracks on the site of the park, has called for its supporters to hold a public meeting there at 7 p.m. (1600 GMT).

Mutlu warned against renewed demonstrations.

"Blocking the parks, making them areas for demonstrations, preventing children, elderly and people from using these areas and turning this into a security problem - we would never ever allow that," he said.

Four people were killed and 7,500 wounded in last month's police crackdown, according to the Turkish Medical Association.

Last week it emerged that a Turkish court had cancelled the Taksim Square redevelopment project, including the construction of the replica barracks, although the state authorities can appeal against the ruling.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Temmuz 2013, 16:06
YORUM EKLE