Turkey to Protesters: Here's Our Offer

Government offers referendum on park, calls on protesters to exit
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 14, 2013 7:20 AM CDT
People light candles with signs of the names of the dead and wounded demonstrators at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Friday, June 14, 2013.   (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
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(Newser) – Two weeks after protests began, Turkey's government has made the people an offer. Under the proposal, which came at 3am as part of a meeting in the prime minister's residence, officials say they wouldn't pursue any development of Gezi Park until after a court rules on the matter. And if granted court approval to proceed, the government will still hold a referendum in Istanbul on the plan to build a barracks and museum at the site, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Journal reports that a "tentative deal" was indeed struck between PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan and reps for the protestors; the AP is a little more conservative in its reporting, noting that while two members of the high-profile Taksim Solidarity group attended the meeting, many of those in the park say they have no affiliation with that group—or any group, for that matter. Today, demonstrators are holding a sit-in at the park as they mull whether to accept the government's terms, the AP reports. "Today, we saved the trees here but our main goal is to save the people," said one. The government clearly wants them out, with a rep for the governing Justice and Development Party telling them, "The most right thing will be for you to go sleep in your warm beds at home."

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