Istanbul’s governor re-opened to the public an Istanbul park that was at the centre of weeks of anti-government protests but warned he would not allow it to become a point for more demonstrations or occupation.
Gezi Park, at Istanbul’s landmark Taksim Square, had been cordoned off since June 15, when police routed thousands of environmentalists who occupied it amid widespread protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. The demonstrations were sparked by government plans to redevelop the park into replica Ottoman-era military barracks.
Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu declared the park open on Monday but said it was no place “for forums, occupation or marches”. It was a clear warning to protesters who plan to meet at Gezi later on Monday to hold a “forum” or discussions on Turkey’s future.