Enver Alas / Istanbul, July 16 () - Members of the Taksim Solidarity Platform, prominent of Gezi Protests, have given a statement urging that Gezi Park is guarded not only by Istanbul and Turkey but also the entire world, declaring “We are aware of your intentions, don’t even think about it!”.
Having spoken on behalf of Taksim Platform, the General Secretary of the İstanbul Chamber of Architecture Mücella Yapıcı’s words refer to Turkey’s Council of State’s controversial move reversing the previous decision from last year that has cancelled the Ottoman artillery barracks constructions over Gezi Park.
The pedestrianization project was brought up again, after the cancellation of the constructions last year, through the request of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Ministry of Culture and Tourisme to revise the decision.
In a press conference, Mücella Yapıcı has defined the decision by Council of State’s 6th Chamber as “far-fetched and commisioned” and added that “the attempts to request a new expert report to relaunch the lawsuite process has caused a decision bereft of legal and scientific foundations, serving the unearned income economy”.
"What if the result is not positive on your side; would Taksim Solidarity call on the public again?"
Yapıcı answered this question of press, “The call on the public by Taksim Platform is the call of all the people. We would not hesitate to fullfill our duty as legists and citizens, in face of all kinds of pressures.
The project to construct a reproduction of the historic Artillery Barracks was one of President Tayyip Erdoğan’s “crazy” projects in Istanbul, alongside a new airport, a third bridge and a man-made canal.
On July 13, Erdoğan cited the major projects as his redline for the ongoing talks to form a coalition government, after the AKP lost its parliamentary majority with the June 7 general election. “Any coalition talks that start with a debate about suspending the major projects of Turkey will be challenged by me before anyone else,” Erdoğan said.
The reproduction would have been built over Gezi Park in central Istanbul and serve as a shopping mall and residence with social facilities, but nationwide protests which continued throughout the summer of 2013 prevented the demolition of the park.