Turkey seeks negotiated end to continuing unrest
ISTANBUL — Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and the governor of Istanbul made what appeared to be final efforts to end two weeks of anti-government unrest by negotiation on Friday, meeting opponents of controversial plans to redevelop a city park.
Erdogan met a delegation mostly made up of actors and artists but also including two members of the umbrella protest group Taksim Solidarity, hours after saying his patience had run out and warning protesters occupying Gezi Park to leave.
Separately, Istanbul Gov. Huseyin Avni Mutlu offered to meet demonstrators from Taksim Square, the epicenter of the protests, at a cafe by the Bosphorus waterway to discuss their demands that the government abandon plans to build a replica Ottoman-era barracks on the park, which adjoins Taksim.
“For those who want to talk face-to-face tonight, from midnight we will talk in groups, if necessary until morning,” Mutlu said on his Twitter account.
A police crackdown on the park nearly two weeks ago triggered an unprecedented wave of protest against Erdogan and his AK Party — an association of centrists and conservative religious elements — drawing in secularists, nationalists, professionals, unionists and students.
Erdogan has already discussed the plans to build over the park with various people who support the protesters, but had refused until Thursday to meet with the Taksim Solidarity group at the heart of the campaign to protect it.
Late on Thursday, he appeared to suggest that hundreds of protesters, camped out in a ramshackle settlement of tents in Gezi Park, could be forcibly evicted, although Mutlu said later there were no such immediate plans.
“Our patience is at an end. I am making my warning for the last time. I say to the mothers and fathers, please take your children in hand and bring them out ... Gezi Park does not belong to occupying forces but to the people,” Erdogan said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Investigators collect remains, evidence from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 crash site in Ukraine
- Uganda invalidates anti-gay law
- Brutality on video only part of the significance to Islamic State’s message
- Tunisia closes borders with Libya to stem tide
- 44 killed in Gaza; Israeli soldier feared captured
- Air power given bigger role in China
- Kerry urges Israel, Hamas to use 72-hour ceasefire to find common ground
- Syrian casualties surge amid rise in attacks by Islamic State
- Libya torn by worst fighting since 2011 revolution
- Israeli leader signals no quick end to Gaza conflict
- PLO offers truce as at least 100 killed in Gaza