World Bulletin/News Desk
Istanbulites will decide on the future of Gezi Park even if an appeals court rules in favor of the construction of a much-contested construction project at the site, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has said Wednesday.
The announcement comes after Istanbul’s city assembly decided Monday to include in its 5-year planning strategy, the controversial project of replacing Gezi Park, located near Taksim Square, with a mall and a hotel - a project that was the initial cause of enormous demonstrations against the government.
The municipality said Wednesday that there would be a referendum over the project even if the appeals court rules in favor of the Istanbul Municipality.
The original project caused a small environmental protest on May 31, 2013, which later turned into nationwide anti-government demonstrations.
The protests erupted after the government moved to implement a redevelopment plan for Taksim Square, which included replacing part of Gezi Park with a mall.
Amid nationwide protests, an Istanbul Court decided to halt the project on June 6 2013. However, the municipality appealed the ruling, which is still being looked into by the higher court.
The project aims to build an Ottoman military-style barrack, which is to incorporate a shopping mall and hotel.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Kasım 2014, 17:04