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PM's promises raise hope for Taksim square protesters


Turkey

PM's promises raise hope for Taksim square protesters

There is an uneasy calm in Istanbul today following an overnight meeting between the Taksim square protesters and the Turkish prime minister.

Protest organisers welcomed the positive signs to emerge from the meeting and a number of promises made by Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“We are here, continue to wait here. We have some demands, we have friends who are still under custody. There are people who lost their lives. If they could have told us this before, we might not have come to this,” said one female protester.

Last night’s meeting was mostly made up of actors and artists, but included two delegates from the Taksim Solidarity umbrella group. Now it seems building work is on hold subject to a court ruling.

“We will not take any step until the judicial process is over. Even if the verdict is affirmative, paving the way for the project our government will hold a referendum to find out what our residents want,” said the AK party’s Huseyin Celik.

Along with the promise to delay redevelopment of Gezi park, it appears no forcible eviction of the protesters will now take place. Erdogan’s supporters hold a rally of their own tomorrow to support their man.

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