The efforts of thousands who occupied Gezi Park, and those who joined them in solidarity via social media from around the world, have paid off. According to Reuters, a Turkish court has ruled against the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan-backed development in which proposed to redesign Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square and replace one of the populated city’s few public parks with a mall.
Taksim Square: The Latest Architecture and News
Turkish Court Rules in Favor of Gezi Park Protesters
Taksim Square's Temporary Structures, Rendered
Architecture emerges with every "occupy" movement or protest. From whatever meager resources at hand, occupiers create structures to fulfill very specific purposes - from makeshift tents for sleeping, to instant podiums for speaking, or perhaps even a swing to kill the time. Unfortunately, these architectures are, by their very nature, fleeting: often disappearing instantly the moment the occupation ends.
When Urban Planning Gets Political: The History of Taksim Square
Over the last two weeks, the world has witnessed history unfold in a small park in the heart of Istanbul, Taksim Square. What started out as a peaceful protest to save Gezi Park and its trees from destruction has turned into a country-wide (and, to some degree, worldwide) movement that rejects the ever-increasing autocratic tendencies of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The urban policies and projects that PM Erdogan and his government have been loutishly implementing in Istanbul offer only a few examples of the way this government has manifested its undemocratic attitudes. In that regard, it would be misleading to consider the protest over Taksim and Gezi Park as an isolated incident. Instead, development over Istanbul’s quintessential square constitutes the last straw in a series of neo-liberal policies, themselves the result of a century of history, that have shaped Istanbul over the course of the last decade.
More after the break...