Protest group says it will monitor Turkey's pledge on park delay

June 15, 2013 at 10:37 AM
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ISTANBUL, Turkey, June 15 (UPI) -- Turkish protesters say they will "continue to struggle" and have promised to track the government's pledge to delay the demolition of an Istanbul park.

A statement by Taksim Solidarity appeared to raise the prospect of the "struggle" extending beyond issues with Gezi Park and into the fate of the country, the official news agency Anadolu reported Saturday.

"This is just the beginning, we continue to struggle," the opposition group said in a statement. "We are continuing to struggle to protect the whole living creatures, our park, city and our freedom on the 18th day of the protests. We will continue to be a close follower of our demands."

"Our platform is more powerful, organized and hopeful now," the group added.

The statement was released following a late night four-hour meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a delegation of 16 representatives of the protesters at his home in Ankara, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Afterward, the delegation said it was satisfied with the government's decision to abide by a court decision calling for the government to delay construction in Gezi Park.

Protesters who had remained in the park were upset with the delegation's statement. "Cowards! Liars! Sheep!" they shouted as members of Taksim spoke about details of the meetings, The New York Times reported.

They rejected the government stance that Taksim Solidarity represented all the protesters.

Earlier Friday, Erdogan said the government would allow to proceed a legal challenge to work on the park and reiterated a call for protesters to leave the park, saying, "their message has been received and evaluated," Hurriyet said.

While saying some of the protesters were "sincere youngsters with environmental sensitivity," he charged "ill-intended" people linked to terrorist groups were using them.

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