Europe

Turkish court rules against Taksim Square development

  • 3 July 2013
  • From the section Europe
Turkish police take position ahead of an anti-government protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul on 29 June 2013
Image caption Protests over plans to redevelop Taksim Square and Gezi Park quickly mushroomed into wider unrest

A Turkish court has ruled against an Istanbul construction project that triggered nationwide unrest, it has been revealed.

The plan to redevelop Taksim Square was blocked by the court in a ruling made on 8 June - as anti-government protests raged.

It is unclear why the ruling has only now been released.

The Taksim Square issue served as a lightning rod for a far wider range of protesters' grievances.

Mass protests began in late May and continued for much of June.

Four people including a policeman were killed, and up to 8,000 were wounded in the protests, and lawyers are investigating complaints of heavy-handed policing.

Campaigners' victory

In its verdict, the administrative court said the government's plan to get rid of Gezi Park - close to Taksim Square - and replace it with a replica of an Ottoman-era military barracks would not serve the public.

It also ruled against a pedestrianisation project for the square, said reports.

The government is expected to appeal against the ruling, but it marks a victory for environmental campaigners, says the BBC's James Reynolds in Istanbul.

Thousands of demonstrators camped out in the park for more than two weeks before they were evicted by the police.

Police officers posted on the edge of the park now stop anyone from getting back in.