Turkey PM: We'll Boot 'Troublemakers' in 24 Hours
Erdogan is still talking tough, but offered a referendum
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 13, 2013 7:31 AM CDT
A municipality worker cleans the steps of Taksim Square under a barricade in Istanbul on Thursday, June 13, 2013.   (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

(Newser) – Protesters have once again returned to Istanbul's Taksim Square, but they may not be there long: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today pledged to have police clear "troublemakers" from the area within 24 hours, the AP reports. It's the latest in a series of conflicting moves by the government: Just yesterday, Erdogan promised a referendum on the redevelopment of the park at the center of the controversy, the New York Times reports.

"They first tell us to go home, and then they present the idea of the referendum?" asked a student. "If they were sincere about a vote, they would not ask us to leave the park." A government-backed referendum might not be such a good idea anyway, says an Istanbul expert on urban sociology, who asserts it's "not a healthy and democratic solution" to dealing with a local matter. And for many, the issue long ago expanded beyond the park. Says one protester, "We want more than the park now. We want change." As for Erdogan, he seems confident things will be settled soon: "By tomorrow at the latest, the Gezi Park incident will end."

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Bartmaeus
Jun 13, 2013 9:01 AM CDT
Wasn't it for the same reason that Erdogan sided with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the US (stellar human rights champions all!) against Assad? Fascist hypocrite puppet of the bankrollers of nation destroyers.
Imhotep
Jun 13, 2013 8:15 AM CDT
As it turns out it's called Gezi Park , thank you. If you Google images of it you can see that it is in fact a really nice park. Looks like a green area surrounded by multi storied buildings and a nice retreat during lunch or when ever. It would be a shame to loose it for more buildings. If there's a problem with crime, which I doubt, then patrol it. Maybe it is time for the prime minister to hit the road. Looks like he has become corrupt over the last ten years. A sure indication when they start tearing down parks to make room for some high priced Mall.