Park referendum idea floated by Turkey's AKP

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Park referendum idea floated by Turkey's AKP

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Using the carrot and the stick approach, Turkey’s ruling AK party ordered protesters out of Istanbul’s Gezi Park while offering to hold a referendum on its redevelopment plans that have caused the recent riots.

The limited concession came during Wednesday’s meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ministers and a protest delegation.

AKP spokesman, Huseyin Celik repeated that those still camped in Gezi Park must leave:

“The voices of the people that want to speak out and express their demands have been heard. You agree or disagree. But this is how democracy works,” he said.

Spokesperson for protest representatives, Ipek Akpinar stressed that the consultation process should continue.

“ Gezi Park should remain as a park, violence should come to an end and an investigation should be launched to bring those responsible to justice. We hope that dialogue will continue after the violence ends for good.”

There has been a mixed reaction from protesters over the referendum idea and hundreds have remained in the park. In the adjoining Taksim Square there has been an uneasy calm after Tuesday’s police operation ended to clear the area.