Turkish court cancels Gezi Park building

July 4, 2013 at 7:44 AM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, July 4 (UPI) -- Plans to build a shopping compound and pedestrian project on Istanbul's Gezi Park that sparked violent protests were canceled by a Turkish court.

The Istanbul's Regional Court's June 8 ruling revealed by the Hurriyet Daily News Thursday said the court called off the construction plans that triggered nationwide protests at the end of May, killing three protesters and one policeman and injuring dozens.

Professor Deniz Incedayi, head of the Istanbul Chamber of Architects, described the court decision as "very meaningful."

The court ruled the project would damage the historical identity and social life in the area, she said. The ruling "also emphasizes that this project is against the public interest and modern urbanization understanding," she said.

The government had initially planned to reconstruct the Taksim military barracks and build a shopping complex in the park. What started out as a peaceful protest of the plan was marred by police using heavy-handed tactics to disperse the demonstrators.

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