Turkey’s symbolic Gezi Park’s ownership switched to the government

Istanbul’s symbolic Gezi Park that landmarked the biggest demonstrations in 2013 against Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) since it came to power, has been attached to the General Directorate of Foundations under Culture and Tourism Ministry, Medyascope reported on Friday.

Gezi Park was a property of the opposition-run Istanbul Municipality.

The protests in 2013 began as a small sit-in in Gezi Park in Taksim square against the proposed destruction of one of Istanbul’s few remaining green spaces to make way for a shopping mall, but spread across the country after police violently dispersed the protestors. Eleven people were killed and more than 8,000 injured in the ensuing violence.

No official notification has been made to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality regarding the issue yet, Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

The attachment criticised by Emin Koramaz, the head of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB).

“The ownership of Gezi Park has been transferred from Istanbul Municipality to the Palace. Gezi resistance was the peak of the will to claim the tree, nature and public spaces. This is the nightmare of power. We, as engineers, architects and urban planners, have always been proud to defend Gezi, and we'll continue to be,” Koramaz said, via his social media on Friday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, continues to assail the Gezi resistance very often.

During his ruling AKP’s provincial congress in Istanbul in February, Erdoğan referred to Gezi protestors as “immorals, rascals and terrorists.”