[The protests at Gezi Park have left a mark on all aspects of society, including the art world. With just a few months remaining until the 13th Istanbul Biennial, the primary focus of which will be the public domain as a political forum, the demonstrations are providing an opportunity for all to adopt a new approach to the public sphere. AA photo]
Istanbul, (Hurriyet Daily News): Demonstrations in Gezi Park carried on peacefully on the 16th day of the protests, a night after violent clashes at the Taksim Square, as the government proposed a referendum on the fate of the park.
Despite the announcement from the Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu via his Twitter account that no intervention would be made during the night at the park, some frictions arose between some small groups and the police.
As police issued a warning to protesters “not to get close” to the area where officers were stationed, some protesters formed a human chain to prevent any scuffle from breaking out at the square, which is adjacent to the park.
Deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) also showed up in the demonstrations while artists organized a sit-in in the evening at the park
Taksim Platform refuses referendum
Meanwhile, members of the Taksim Solidarity Platform that met the deputy prime minister last week said that they did not accept the government’s proposal of a referendum.
“Nobody met with us. We rose up because we refused the police oppression that continued until this morning. [The ruling AKP's spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik] said those who stay in the park are marginal. No one will abandon the site tonight,” the group said in a statement.