4 Jul 2013

Taksim Square redevelopment plan cancelled

6:28 am on 4 July 2013

A court in Turkey has cancelled the redevelopment of Taksim Square in central Istanbul which triggered a nationwide wave of anti-government protests.

The court upheld an earlier ruling on 8 June that the plan to reshape the square violates preservation rules.

The BBC reports it is unclear why the ruling was not issued until Wednesday.

Taksim Square served as a lightning rod for a far wider range of grievances. Mass protests began in late May and continued for much of June.

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.

At the height of the protests on 14 June, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would respect the court's decision and ordered a halt to the construction work.

However, the BBC reports the government is expected to appeal against the ruling.